7 Work from Home Scams to Protect Yourself From

The internet can be a dangerous place. So protect yourself by being on the lookout for these 7 common work from home scams.

Work From Home Scams Are Everywhere

These days, everyone is looking for ways to work from home. If you're not lucky enough to have a boss that will let you work from home, then maybe you're looking for online work-from-home opportunities. There are plenty out there, but you have to know where to look.

Working from home sounds great, but you have to be careful when searching for the right work-from-home opportunity: there are scam artists out there looking to separate you from your hard earned cash. Here are a few of the more common scams to look out for.

Envelope stuffing

Sounds pretty easy, right? (Unless you are prone to paper cuts.)

brown bear injured by paper cut

Seriously, though, most mailing houses use sophisticated envelope-stuffing machines to stuff thousands of envelopes in an hour. It's unlikely that you can do better than the machine. So it simply doesn't make sense to pay an actual human to stuff large amounts of envelopes by hand from home.

Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is a real thing.There are stores that hire outside contractors to come in to their stores and check up on the quality. Sometimes, mystery shoppers are asked to go in and buy a product.They are then reimbursed by the company for the item that they purchased.

It seems like a fun job (kind of like spying without the guns and danger).It doesn’t pay very well, though, so its not the type of job that you can do full-time or expect to make any significant amount of money.

The scams you need to look out for are any ads that promise you will make a ton of money, or that require you to pay to be a mystery shopper.

Medical Billing and Data Entry

Medical billing is also a real thing (duh).But it is a highly specialized skill.If you have experience processing medical claims or bills, it is possible that you will find a company that will let you do your job from home.

But if you have no experience with medical billing, these types of jobs are not available to you.So beware of any company that offers to hire inexperienced people to perform medical billing services.

Multi-Level Marketing and Pyramid Schemes

A Multi-Level Marketing, or pyramid scheme, is a supposed "business opportunity" where you directly sell a product to your friends and family, and also recruit them to join you in the organization. The more you sell, the more money you can supposedly make. But where these types of schemes really get you is by using you to recruit more and more people into their organization.

There are some legitimate direct sales businesses (like Avon or Cutco) where you can make money selling products directly to your friends and family. But these businesses don't rely on your recruiting efforts to make a profit.

Product Testing

It’s not uncommon for a household services company (think shampoo, hand lotion or soap) to give out free samples of its products in exchange for consumer opinions.

But is Apple going to send you a free iPhone to see how you like it?No, they’re not.

Re-Shipping

Re-shipping scams are another form of money laundering.The way they work is a hacker steals someone’s bank account or credit card information.They then order an expensive item and have the item shipped to a paid “Re-Shipper.” The re-shipper then sends the item to the scammer.

Make no mistake, this is fraud.If a criminal steals someone else’s financial information, you don’t want to be the one responsible for receiving their stolen property.

To Spot a Work from Home Scam, Ask These 4 Questions

Can I get rich quick?

There is no easy way to get rich. Anyone who promises you otherwise is definitely scamming you.

Is my (future) boss asking me for money?

Generally, when you are hired to do a job, your boss pays you.If someone offers you a job, but then asks you to pay them for some reason…run the other way.

Does it sound too good to be true?

If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not true.It’s a scam and you shouldn’t let yourself get ripped off.

Summary

There are a lot of scams out there.But the good news is that you can avoid pretty much all of them with a little common sense.

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