How To Avoid
Work-At-Home Scams & What To Do When You're A Victim by Vishal P. Rao
As more and more people opt-out of
conventional jobs and instead choose to work from their homes, the
number of work-at-home scams has also increased. Each year thousands
of people find out the hard way that opportunities which are too
good to be true usually are but not before they invest and waste
millions of dollars a year.
You don't have to be one of those
unfortunate people. All you need to do is to become more informed,
ask the appropriate questions, and know what to do if you are the
victim of illegitimate opportunity.
Become More Informed
One of the first things you should
become aware of are the types of business opportunities which are
most frequently scams. One of the oldest of these scams are stuffing
envelopes and/or assembling items in your home. You'll find these
opportunities in lots of sources, even some that are legitimate.
However, what most of these ads fail to say is that you have to pay
them a fee to begin. Then after you complete your job, your work is
often rejected as substandard and, of course, you never see a penny.
The other thing that happens is that you have to send in money only
to receive instructions on how to place an ad just like the one that
you've just placed in order to bring individuals just like yourself.
Another common work-at-home scams are
Pyramid schemes. Pyramid schemes are often passed off as MLM
(multi-level marketing) opportunities, but there is a key
difference. Pyramid schemes are more concerned with having you bring
in more people and less concerned with selling products. The reason
is that they aren't making their money off of selling anything to
actual customers but from taking money from hopeful entrepreneurs
like you. Most of these schemes ask you to make an investment or a
purchase in order to become a full-fledged participant and/or to
receive all of your potential profits. Generally, you never see any
of the earnings promised in their advertisements.
If an opportunity you've found seems
to fall into one of these categories, you should start asking
questions before signing up for anything.
Ask the Appropriate Questions
Even though these work-at-home
opportunities often state that you have to act now or join by a
certain time to secure your spot, you must take the time to ask
questions. Then, don't join unless your questions are answered to
Here are some of those questions:
Ask exactly what type of work you
will be expected to perform.
Ask how you will be paid. If you
are going to be paid by commission, be sure to ask exactly what
your percentage will be.
Ask exactly how much money you
need to spend, including fees, supplies, inventory, etc.
Ask how long the company has been
in business since non-legitimate companies frequently change
their name to go out of business.
Ask to get copies of the company's
sales materials and product descriptions, so you can determine
how product-focused the company is.
Know What to Do If You Are a
If you are the victim of one of these
scams, then you need to know what to do next.
Your first course of action should be
to notify the company. Talk to someone as high up in the business as
possible and be sure to make them aware that your plan to contact
the appropriate authorities.
If you don't receive any satisfaction
from the company, your next step is to report the company to the
authorities. You should file a complaint with at least one, if not
all, of the organizations below:
The Federal Trade Commission –
You can file a report through their web site at www.ftc.gov
The Better Business Bureau – You
can contact them through their web site at www.bbb.org.
The Attorney General of Your State
– You can find out how to contact the attorney general in your
area by doing a search for “Your State attorney general” at
Google.com. The right page should be the first or second that
appears in the search results.
The bottom line is if a business
opportunity seems to good to be true, then it's worth checking out.
Any business that tries to pressure you into making a hasty decision
isn't a business you should be working with.
Vishal P. Rao is
the editor of Home Based Business Opportunities - A web site
dedicated to opportunities, ideas and resources to help you start
and run a home based business. Visit his site at: http://www.home-based-business-opportunities.com