Five Top Tips for Avoiding Work at Home Scams

MoneyScamsWhen you first make the decision to work from home you may not have a clear idea of the direction you’re looking to work in. Your career history may be very specific or you may want to maximise your skills but are not sure how to do so. When you’re new to self-employment and finance is a worry, it is very easy to be drawn in by a scam and in almost every instance you end up out of pocket, disappointed and even put off working from home altogether. New work at home mums and dads can be quite vulnerable to this if finances make it essential to find work ASAP but here are five tips to keep in mind to make sure you’re not caught out.

1.     Never Pay for the CHANCE to Work

It sounds like an obvious point but you should never pay for the possibility or chance to work. The work chance is included here as there are plenty of successful and legitimate franchise schemes which have a start-up cost which is very different to scam jobs which ask you to pay a fee in advance to ‘access their job database’ or ‘to guarantee a full workload’. If you are ever asked to pay before finding out about a job, you can almost guarantee it’s a money making scam, with fraudsters cashing in on your enthusiasm and keenness to work.

2.     Research and Check Out Every Business

Every business you’re considering working with should be checked out in full. If you are really keen to work with a business with initial costs, like one of the franchise schemes out there, then make sure you check them over 100%. Key things to look out for are include a physical address and working phone number and whether the company name is well represented and positively reviewed on search engines. It is also important to watch out for businesses that use free web hosting services, free web email (such as Hotmail or Gmail) and don’t disclose their real addresses or phone numbers.

3.     Use your Credit Card

If you are going to sign up for a franchise business such as Avon or Usborne Books then make sure you use your credit card to make all purchases. This is also true if you do decide to take a punt on a less well-known business and their ‘start-up costs’ (although we don’t recommend it!) as then, if the items don’t arrive, you can dispute the charges with your credit card company. At least this will mean you are protected financially, even if your pride is hit.

4.     Beware of ‘too good to be true’

If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. This is a mantra you’ll need to keep in mind when searching for work when you’re newly self-employed or considering working from home. You will find every kind of wild claim from “earn up to £500 everyday” to “guaranteed steady full-time work” and when this is all that’s disclosed, it’s pretty fishy. They want to grab your attention and get you clicking that apply button before you can think but this is where you need to stop, consider the likelihood of what you’re looking at and back away. These too good to be true claims are often alongside vague text with no real clue about what the job is, so stay well clear.

5.     Plan your Future

Making the move to self-employment is a big step but it is something that needs to be calculated and planned and you need to find out if it is really viable to you. If your work at home business plan is simply to scour the internet for work, chances are you’ll come up against a lot of these scams and instead, you should be focusing on skill set and how you can use it effectively for your future income.  This could mean turning your hobby into your business or it could mean embarking on one of many other weird and wonderful ways of working from home.

photo credit: 1 pound coins via photopin (license)