What to watch out for when you work from home

It’s unfortunate that there are so many ‘work from home’ scams out there, but the sad truth is that they exist.  Therefore, if you want to work from home, it’s a good idea to be savvy about these scams and know what to look for.  In addition to listening to your gut and doing your research (search the web on each company you consider), here are some tips for making sure that a work at home opportunity is legitimate.

Beware of vague claims.

Scammers like to make big but non-specific promises, like how much money you will make.  They may even try to sound specific by giving you a dollar amount you can expect to earn.  But if you can’t discern what, exactly, you would be doing if you worked for them, or if you can’t tell what the job description is, then steer clear.  You want concrete, specific directions and job descriptions, not vague promises about getting rich overnight.

Testimonials.

Testimonials can be a great way to promote a legitimate business, but watch out for testimonials that sound far too glowing or staged.  “I was able to quit my job after only one week and now I make thousands each month working from home!” says Jane Smith in Somewhere City.  Jane and many others may have similar testimonials on a company’s website, but once again they are too good, too perfect and too vague.  Jane doesn’t say what she did to earn all that money, and the success time is way too quick (one week).

Consultants/Reps.

Beware of consultants and representatives who call you constantly trying to get you to sell their product.  Legitimate businesses won’t harass you or try to pin you down on selling a product.  If it’s a truly good product, then it should be enough in demand that they don’t need to bug you.

Customer Service.

Find out what the customer service is like with the company you’re considering working for.  If you can’t get through on the phone or don’t get replies to your emails, that’s a red flag that the company is either very disorganized or not legitimate.

Fees

Fees are somewhat of a gray area.  It’s normal to expect a sign-up fee with an online community with great business resources, for example those that own that community network are probaly work at home people too!  It’s also normal to expect to pay a fee for marketing services or for getting your name put on a list for a prospective employer to see.  The point is, you are getting something for your money.

Beware of companies that ask you to pay a fee that does not seem to have any basis, or a fee for you to be trained.  Most sources agree that you should avoid companies that ask you to pay just for the privilege of working for them.

Also, be sure to differentiate a job working for a company and a home business where you are working with a company.  The two are very different.  You can expect to pay a start-up fee to start your own business working with a legitimate company.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

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