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Avoiding Work at Home and Home Business Scams

Leva Duell

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Working at home is attractive for many people, from stay at home moms, students, retired people, to seniors. While some work at home opportunities are legitimate, many are scams. Unfortunately, many people are going to fall for home business opportunity scams and lose their hard earned money.

Research any home-based business opportunity you are considering before purchasing. Do your homework before paying for any work at home business opportunity.

So, how do you know the legitimate work at home jobs from the scams? Here are some tips to help you distinguish the good from the bad work at home opportunities and avoid home business scams:

1. Look for a name. If you cannot find the seller's name on the website, steer clear. If they don't want you to know who they are, you can't contact them after they got your money.

2. Look for contact information. Legitimate companies will give you their contact information. Is there a phone number? Use caution if you see a free email account from Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail, especially if they don't provide a phone number. If someone is using a P. O. Box and free email account, they are hiding their identity.

3. Do they answer email messages? If they're not answering your questions before your purchase, they won't answer them after they got your money.

4. Visit message boards, work at home message forums and mailing lists and ask about the company. Use the forum search function to search for the product name, company name, promoter's name, and web site URL. Check what people are saying about the program or product you're considering. If the work at home is a scam people are going to talk about it.

5. Check web sites that specialize in reporting work at home scams. Victims of work-at-home scam often report there how they were scammed.

6. Visit review sites but don't believe everything they're saying. Many sellers and affiliates put up reviews sites and review their own products. They are often negative about one work at home opportunity to look trustworthy and then recommend their own product.

7. Check the refund policy and payment processor. When paying through Clickbank for example, you are protected by a two month money back guarantee, regardless of the merchant you're buying from.

8. Closely read the web site or ad and examine the offer. Check the facts. Know exactly what you'll get - especially if they charge start-up fees for software, supplies, memberships, or lists of hiring companies. Get in touch with the seller, ask questions. A legitimate company will tell you exactly what you will get, what you will be doing, and for whom you'll work. If their answers are vague and elusive, or if they don't answer your questions, steer clear. Here are some good questions to ask before buying a work at home program.

  • Will the company employ you directly? Or you do get a list of companies that will provide you with work?
  • What kind of work will you do?
  • Are they going to provide you with customers? Or do you have to find your own customers?
  • What exactly will you get? Are they selling a book, software, training, or supplies?
  • Will you be paid a regular salary or paid a commission? When will you get paid?
  • Who will pay you?
  • Will there be additional fees? What is the total amount you'll pay, including membership fees, administrative fees, equipment and supplies?

    Use common sense. Avoid any business opportunities that make claims that sound too good and too easy to be true. Operating a home-based business requires work, skill, good products or services, and time to make a profit. If an ad or web site promises unrealistic income for easy work that doesn't require experience or skills, watch out and be wary - especially for jobs you would expect to need experience for, like typing or data entry.

    There are good work home at home opportunities available. If you follow these tips and use common sense, you'll avoid work at home scams and will find a legitimate work at home opportunity that is right for you.

    Looking for legitimate typing work at home?
    Get a free report on how to avoid typing scams at

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