The internet has opened up a whole world of opportunities for those who want to work from home. There are so many opportunities available that people can choose to make working from home a fulltime job and their prime source of income, or they can work part-time to supplement income they get from their normal job.
Unfortunately, as with all areas of commerce, internet work from home opportunities have also attracted the attention of fraudsters and con artists. While many opportunities will be genuine, you need to be on your guard against those that are set up to defraud you, or worse, involve you in criminal activities.
Uncovering work from home scams is not too difficult when you are aware of the schemes and tactics used by online scammers. You need to be wary of the market you are entering and err on the side of caution. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy or honesty of any work from home project, then it is safer to keep away from it.
Many internet scams are just modern versions of tactics scammers employed using more conventional communications in the past. Advertising in local newspapers has been replaced by promoting scam websites. Being aware of the tactics used will help to protect you from scammers. There are some rules that you can apply when assessing any online opportunity.
1) Do not pay upfront fees. No genuine employer asks employees to pay to be employed. When you come across an online scheme, just ask yourself is the employer behaving as an employer in a face-to-face situation would.
There is an exception to this rule. If you are buying stock with the intention of reselling, then you will have to pay when you order the stock.
2) Avoid schemes where you are being asked to buy kits for assembly. The idea is you assemble the kit and return the finished product to the employer. You can be certain your assembled kit will fail their quality standards and you will be out of pocket.
3) Avoid schemes where you act as an intermediary. A typical example is where you are asked to offer an item for sale on an auction site. You are given full details, including photos, of the products. All you have to do is sell the product and then forward a percentage of the sale price to your contact. The customer who has bought from you either does not receive any goods, or gets an inferior product. The customer will claim the full cost back from you.
4) Do not agree to have your home used as a depot. In these scams, you are asked to receive goods at your address, for which you will be paid a fee. After a time, a courier arrives to collect these goods and you are given a cheque. Needless to say the cheque will bounce.
Often, the goods have been paid for with stolen credit card details, and the police will get your address from the companies who supplied the goods.
5) Never pay for directories or lists of contacts. These are always useless.
Keeping these rules in mind will help you in uncovering work from home scams.