With the huge advancement in technology over the past 10-20 years, the ability to make a decent living from home has never been easier. There are millions of people around the world setting up businesses and making money online every single day. Some make a little beer money, others make millions, but most people fall in between the two and make enough to sustain a comfortable lifestyle.
Getting to that stage isn’t easy, and don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise, however hard they try!
And they will!
Scammers focus on weak points; they target the vulnerable, the ones who have had enough and want to take an alternative route; usually one that doesn’t involve hard work and thinking. They’ll make whatever scheme they are promoting sound simple, quick and very profitable. But usually, it isn’t.
If you are on the lookout for a work-at-home job, here a few phrases and schemes that may show something isn’t quite right.
It Sounds too Good to be True
My dad taught me this when I was kid: “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. And you know what, he was damn right. Too many scammers make over elaborate claims about the potential profit from their scheme(s). If the job you are interested in is offering a ridiculous profit margin or payback, you need to step back a little and have a word with yourself.
Go for a walk or just sit and think about what’s on offer.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The Scammer Asks for a Deposit/Set-Up Fee
A classic example of this type of fraud exists in the e-commerce sector. It works like this: You pay somebody hundreds or thousands of dollars to set up an e-commerce website for you. They say they will handle all the inventory, orders, shipping, delivery, after-sales care. Everything. All you have to do is drive traffic to the site and sit back and wait for the checks to roll in.
Only, they don’t.
The scammer takes your money and does a runner.
Forward Parcels to Another Address aka ReShipping
This is a peach!
Scammers use stolen credit cards to buy stuff online. They arrange delivery of the goods to people “working” as reshippers. They are instructed to repackage the goods and forward them onto another address, which could be anywhere in the world. The image to the left singles out Nigeria, but Europe is a popular destination too, as are many states in the US.
This is such an easy way to earn money it’s easy to see why people who go for it.
Here is a really interesting forum thread on the subject. It was started by someone called Infamous who became worried when she started receiving tires, laptops and iPhones. The person was offered $1800 per month to provide the reshipping service – it’s a sum of money that’s hard to turn down, especially if you are needy or down on your luck.
This one has been around for decades. I remember almost falling for it 30 years ago when I left school and needed some work, luckily my wise old man brought me back to earth.
This is what the FTC says about envelope stuffing:
Here’s what happens: once you send your money, you’re likely to get a letter telling you to get other people, even your friends and relatives, to buy the same envelope-stuffing “opportunity” or another product. The only way you can earn money is if people respond to your solicitations the same way you responded. The promoters rarely pay anyone.
Another one to avoid.
Another one that’s almost as old as the hills. It works really simply, and goes something like this: People in the pyramid pay for the right to sell the scheme to someone else, when they sell the scheme to someones else, they earn from the sale, and continue earning as the people below them make more sales.
It starts with one person – the initial recruiter – who is on top, at the apex of the pyramid. This person recruits a second person, who is required to “invest” $100 which is paid to the initial recruiter. In order to make his or her money back, the new recruit must recruit more people under him or her, each of whom will also have to invest $100. If the recruit gets 10 more people to invest, this person will make $900 with just a $100 investment.
The problem is that the scheme cannot go on forever because there is a finite number of people who can join the scheme (even if all the people in the world join). People are deceived into believing that by giving money they will make more money (“with an investment of just $100, you will receive $900 in return”). But no wealth has been created; no product has been sold; no investment has been made; and no service has been provided.
Yes, there are plenty of legitimate work-at-home jobs out there and yes it can be tough separating the good guys from the bad, but if you break down the points made in this post, there are at least two common denominators that should make you think twice before applying for just any old work-at-home job:
- It sounds too good to be true
- Your potential future “employer” asks for money upfront in the guise of a set-up/registration/certification fee
There is a third too – humans want an easy life and easy money, and if the opportunity arises, they’ll take it. Scammers know this and use it as a marketing tool to draw you into their lair to trap you; don’t be fooled by the sales patter.
Take a couple of minutes to watch this video:
Video Credit: ComplaintsBoard
If you are serious about working from home, there are plenty of legitimate opportunities out there.
Many people transfer their current day job to the freelancing arena. This allows them to continue working in the same field, but on an independent basis.
Here are a few websites that bring together freelancers and customers, and should be your first port of call when seeking employment opportunities. Sometimes the pay isn’t great, but they can be a good sites to use when you are starting out.
And here a few work from home blogs that are worth following.
If you have anything to add to this post, please leave a comment below.