You finally made the decision to become a work at home mom. Congradulations! The choice to work from home is becoming more and more popular for many moms. And for good reason, you can. . .
* be your own boss
* set your own schedule
* make money
* be home for your kids
Basically you have two choices, You can start your own home based business or you can telecommute for a company that hires remote workers.
As the popularity for finding work at home grows, unfortunately so do the scams offering big financial rewards. Work-at-home con artists have always preyed most upon moms who want to stay at home with their kids, people with low income and few job skills, and those who are looking to get rich quick.
Your first step when searching for a work at home opportunity should be for you to familiarize yourself with whats out there in the way of work at home “jobs" and “opportunities" on the Internet or you may find yourself being conned by work-at-home scam artists. You may also become unwittingly involved in helping them to promote their programs, and helping them to continue their deception.
The key to finding “Real" Work at Home jobs or opportunities is research. I know it's very tempting to fall prey to work-at-home opportunities that offer “easy money". I was a victim myself several years ago when I was a “newbie" to the Internet. Be sure to take the time to learn all that you can about a home employment offer, and about what you'll REALLY need to do to make money in it BEFORE you say yes or you could
Lose your money!
Waste valuable time!
Ruin your reputation!
Or even be a target of legal action!
Here are some common scams to watch out for, sometimes the ads may be worded a bit different- scam artists are very sneaky. . .
ASSEMBLY WORK AT-HOME: Typical Ad - “Assembly work at home! Easy money assembling craft items. No experience necessary. "
This scheme requires you to invest your money for instructions and materials and many hours of your time to produce items for a company that has promised to buy them. Once you have purchased the supplies and have done the work, the company often decides not to pay you because your work does not meet certain “standards. " You are then left with merchandise that is difficult or impossible to sell.
CHAIN LETTER: Typical Ad - “Make copies of this letter and send them to people whose names we will provide. All you have to do is send us ten dollars for our mailing list and labels. Look at the chart below and see how you will automatically receive thousands in cash return!!!"
The only people who benefit from chain letters are the mysterious few at the top of the chain who constantly change names, addresses, and post office boxes. They may try to impress you by describing themselves as successful professionals who know all about non-existent sections of alleged legal codes.
ENVELOPE STUFFING: Typical Ad - “$350 Weekly Guaranteed! Stuffing Envelopes at Home!"
When answering such ads, you may not receive what you expected, but instead get instructions on how to place the same kind of ad the advertiser ran in the first place. There are several variations on this type of scheme, all of which require you to spend money on advertising and materials. According to the U. S. Postal Inspection Service, “In practically all businesses, envelope stuffing has become a highly mechanized operation using sophisticated mass mailing techniques and equipment which eliminates any profit potential for an individual doing this type of work-at-home. The Inspection Service knows of no work-at-home promotion that ever produces income as alleged. "
PROCESSING MEDICAL INSURANCE CLAIMS: Typical Ad - “You can earn from $800 to $1000 weekly processing insurance claims on your home computer for health care professionals such as doctors, dentists chiropractors, and podiatrists. Over 80% of providers need your services. Learn how in one day!"
When you respond to the ad you will be told that you must have this particular software program to perform medical billing work from your home. Prices can range from $50 to $500. The software program consists of not much more than doctor names and addresses and examples of letters that you may use to contact them. Few people who purchase this medical billing business opportunity or software program are never able to find clients, start a business and generate revenues-let alone earn a substantial income and recover their investment. Competition in the medical billing market is fierce and revolves around a number of large and well-established firms. Furthermore, those that are hired as Billers for “real employers" have years of experience.
HOME TYPIST JOBS: Typical Ad - “Now hiring clerical home typists! Work directly for our company. No experience necessary. No selling. Positions available worldwide. "
There are several companies on the internet that advertise the availability of “home employment" through home typist or ad typist “jobs" with their companies. The truth is, you will not be “hired" as an “employee" of the company as their advertising suggests. Instead, you will pay a fee to join and get instructions on how to advertise the same type of ad you answered.
E-MAIL/ORDER PROCESSORS - This may also be advertised as “Clerical Workers Needed" When you answer this ad you will be asked to submit a payment anywhere from $10 - $50 for application and/or processing fee and shipping and handling for the software they tell you is neccessary to complete the required work. What you get is a letter with instuctions on how and where to place the same kind of ad you answered and a 3x5 floppy with useless work-at-home jobs, a mixture of computer-related work such as word processing or data entry and the same old envelope-stuffing and home crafts scams. You are instructed to copy the letter and floppy and send this to people who answer your ad.
Real legitimate work at home jobs do exist. . . you just have to know where to look and what to watch out for to avoid being scammed. So what can you do to protect yourself while still seeking out work-at-home opportunities?
Steer Clear of Starter Fees.
When searching for a telecommuting job remember. . . Legitimate EMPLOYERS will NOT ask you for money (not for software, not for an application or processing fee, nothing)-REMEMBER don't pay someone to work for them! Legitimate Employers Pay You!
Beware of Big Promises.
Be suspicious of any job description promising overnight success or using phrases like “effortless, " “no experience required, " “easy money, " “hidden job market, " “make money fast, " or “earn hundreds or thousands a week. " Believe me, there is no such thing as easy! Work is Work. Your success will depend on the amount of time and effort you put in to it. If it sounds too good to be true, chances are it’s a scam.
Do a Background Check.
Before getting involved with any work-from-home opportunity or job resource, type in the company's name on various search engines to view anything that may have been written about it. Good or Bad
Then check out the company with watchdog agencies such as:
The Better Business Bureau
National Fraud Information Center
Web Assured (click on its “Watch List" to view complaints about various companies. )
So remember, to avoid losing any of your hard-earned money, be sure to take the time to learn all that you can about a home employment offer, and about what you'll REALLY need to do to make money in it BEFORE you say yes.
Kim Miller is a work at home mom and knows what it's like to scammed. She invites you to visit her website http://www.wahmoms.net - a site to help moms find work at home success!