Working from home is an appealing prospect for many people. After all, it means no commuting, office politics, or weird desk mates. It can also mean more time with family and friends. Unfortunately, the internet is littered with scams promising easy work from home jobs that pay big money.
Many of these opportunities are just pyramid schemes that exploit your desperation to escape the 9-to-5 grind by preying on your willingness to support your family with a second job. Other work from home job postings may be fraudulent or lead you directly into a scam. In this article, we’ll look at common red flags and trust signals to consider when evaluating whether or not a work from home opportunity is legit.
What to look for in a work from home job
There are no guarantees with any job, but there are some signs that you’re looking at a potentially risky opportunity. The first red flag to be on the lookout for is a company that asks you to pay money upfront. If you’re looking for legitimate work from home jobs, you won’t ever be asked to pay to work. No work from home job will ever charge you a membership fee or require that you buy anything from them.
If the company is asking you to pay them money, it’s a sign that it’s probably not a legitimate opportunity. Legitimate employers don’t require a payment from you. They have a product or service that you need and pay you for your labor.
Another red flag is a promise of high, immediate income. Be wary if someone tells you that you’ll be making $5,000, $10,000, or more monthly from the comfort of your own home after just a few hours of work per day. There’s no such thing as a get-rich-quick scheme that doesn’t involve taking a big risk, and you will almost certainly lose your money if you pursue such a promise.
How do you know if a work from home job is legitimate?
The best way to check if a work from home job is legitimate is to look at the company behind the opportunity and the job details. If the opportunity is listed on a legitimate job board, that’s a good sign that the company is legitimate. Keep an eye on the terms and conditions, though. A few boards are more robust than others, and the chance of finding a scam there is much lower.
You can also check to see if the company is listed on a scam website like the FTC’s Scam Tracker. If it is, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to find legitimate work with that company—after all, it means only that the company has been scammed in the past—but it is a sign that you should be extra vigilant.
How to spot a scam: Red flags
If you see one or more of the following red flags, proceed with extreme caution. -When you work from home, you don’t get the benefit of the built-in community that comes with an office job. Instead, you’re on your own. So, if you’re supposed to be selling products to your friends and family or working with a list of leads that a company provides, you’re probably working with a scam.
If you have to work from home, you get most of the same benefits as an employee, but you’re missing out on a couple of very important things: a basic level of professionalism and a way to network with others. If you’re not getting those things, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a scam.
How to spot a good opportunity: Trust signals
If you’re looking for work from home jobs, you’ll want to be on the lookout for the following trust signals.
- An employer who pays you. This one might seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that you’re not getting paid to be an investor or to be part of a pyramid scheme. You’re getting paid to do a job. A legitimate employer will pay you.
- A readily available product or service. If the company you work for provides a product or service that you can easily explain to others and demonstrate the value of, that’s a good sign. If you have to be secretive about what you do, or if you have to sell something that’s not especially valuable, that’s a bad sign.
- An employer who doesn’t require your upfront payment. When you’re looking for work from home jobs, you will be offered many opportunities. If an employer asks you to pay for training or other materials upfront, that’s usually a sign that it’s a scam. If a company won’t let you pay for your materials on a payment plan or a debt-to-credit arrangement, that’s also a sign that it’s a scam.
Benefits of Working From Home
There are many benefits to working from home, but the two most important ones are flexibility and control. Unlike a 9-to-5 job, where you have to be at work at a certain time and place, work from home can afford you the freedom to set your schedule according to your needs. If you have kids or dependents or a disability, working from home can help you stay connected to the things in your life that are important to you.
Working from home can also be a great choice for parents who are looking to cut down on the cost of childcare. According to Care.com, the average cost of full-time care for an infant has risen steadily since 2004, from $4,095 a year to $16,549 a year in 2017. Many parents who work from the home report being able to cut down on childcare costs by about half by combining childcare with their work schedules.
How can I start working from home?
There are a few things you can do in order to start working from home. The first step is to find a job that you can do from home. You can search for telecommuting jobs online, or you can contact companies directly and inquire about remote work opportunities.
Once you have found a job that you can do from home, the next step is to set up a home office. This will require you to have a dedicated space in your home where you can work without distractions. You will also need to invest in some basic office equipment, such as a desk, chair, and computer. Finally, you will need to establish some basic work-from-home routines, such as setting regular work hours and taking breaks throughout the day.
The internet has made it easier than ever to find work from home jobs, but it’s also made it easier than ever to fall victim to scammers. When evaluating the legitimacy of a work from home opportunity, it’s important to keep your eyes open for red flags and trust signals. If you see one or more of these signs, it’s important to keep your wits about you.
Remember that you don’t have to settle for one bad job opportunity. Finding legitimate work from home jobs is possible, you just have to put in the effort to find them.