Last Updated March 26th, 2018

Where Are The Stay At Home Jobs For Moms That Are Not Scams?

Where Are The Stay At Home Jobs For Moms That Are Not Scams?

As many families struggle financially, more and more stay at home moms are getting serious about earning some money. But when you start looking, it seems as though everywhere you look are work at home scams. Where are the stay at home jobs for moms that are not scams?

They’re out there. They’re just hard to see through the haze of work at home scams. As technology has made it easier to allow employees to work remotely, more companies have included it as a possibility. Some companies are entirely remote now.

Stay At Home Jobs For Moms

Just because they’re all around doesn’t mean it’s easy to get a stay at home job or to earn any sort of decent income from home. It’s difficult for most people. It’s a lot of work added to a busy lifestyle.

That’s especially true when you have small children. They can limit the jobs you can do from home because they’re noisy and need attention.

If you haven’t really looked at stay at home jobs for moms, you might be surprised at how many there are. I used to do medical transcription at home until this site took off well enough that it wasn’t necessary anymore. Medical transcription is still out there, but it has changed since my time!

One of my sisters did software development from home for a while. The work at home lifestyle didn’t suit her, so she returned to the office, but many other software developers enjoy working remotely, and her current job allows her to do that sometimes.

And don’t forget the stay at home jobs that many people think of when first considering the option, such as data entry and customer service.

Some stay at home jobs will require that you get some training on your own. Medical transcription and medical coding do, of course. Software developers either need to have gone through college or have such a good portfolio that they interest employers anyhow.

If you’re considering data entry as a possibility, I would suggest looking more toward general transcription. Legitimate data entry jobs are few and far between. There are more opportunities with general transcription. You don’t have to have as much training as a medical transcriptionist, but if you want to improve your chances, I suggest you get some general transcription training so that you know what you’re getting into. This course gives you a free sample so you know if you like it before you pay anything.

For any home based job, make sure that you can meet the qualifications for your workspace and noise levels. Some require that you work regular hours and have no background noise. Others only care that you get your work done. Most are somewhere between. Your situation must match your employer’s requirements, or you won’t keep the job for long.

You can find a lot of stay at home job leads on my job board. I can’t guarantee 100% that there are no scams, but I try very hard to keep them off the job board. Do your due diligence as you look for jobs, and you should be able to weed out scams wherever you search.

Become A Freelancer

Offering your skills as a freelancer takes some work, but it’s something many of us can do and doesn’t involve paying someone for the business opportunity. It does involve risk. You have to check with your city hall to see about home business licensing and business name requirements. You have to set up bank accounts. Then you don’t know when you’ll get your first jobs. And there’s always the worry about how good a particular client will be about paying you.

All that is still usually faster than landing a job working for one of the usual stay at home jobs. Get good at it, and it’s more profitable as well.

You might be amazed at how many opportunities there are for freelancers. You can do freelance bookkeeping, writing, programming, marketing, website designing, graphic design, or be a virtual assistant. Just look at your skill set and figure out a way to offer your services to local businesses or to businesses online.

There are plenty of traps to fall into as you get started, however. The most common is to set too low a price for your services. That may not get you more clients. That may get you clients who are looking for cheap but still want everything they’d get for a higher price. It’s better to set your prices based on what you need to earn for your efforts.

Start A Home Business

Want a stay at home job that doesn’t involve getting scammed? The simplest way to do that is to go into business for yourself. And it’s really not that simple.

Blogging is a very popular home business, and with good reason. Costs are low. There are lots of bloggers out there trumpeting how much money they’ve made blogging. Plus you get to write about things that interest you.

While I strongly recommend blogging, I’m not going to pretend that it is always easy going. Sometimes it’s rough. Most bloggers do NOT earn thousands of dollars per month. Many don’t earn that much per year. I can teach you to handle the basics of blogging, and you may be surprised at how simple some of it is.

Some parts of the learning curve will be difficult, depending on your comfort with the technology. But once you get things going, it’s a nice business. Just give yourself time so you don’t get frustrated that you aren’t earning the same money as other people are. It’s a business. There are no guarantees.

You could also set yourself up to sell products you’ve made on Etsy, write books to sell on Amazon, sell physical products on Amazon or eBay… the list goes on. If you want a really traditional home business, you could even start a daycare.

Whatever home business you start, make sure that you keep it legal. Get your business license and business name registered. See if your particular business model has any other legal requirements to deal with, such as collecting sales tax. Skipping the legal side of things will give you huge headaches later on.

Requirements will depend on where you live, so there is little specific advice I can give here. Check on your local city and county websites to find out what you need to do. SCORE.org may also be a help.

Remember The Scams

Don’t get overconfident as you look at stay at home jobs. You don’t want to fall for a scam just because you decided that this time you didn’t need to do a little extra research.

The main times to be careful are when you spend money and when you share your personal information.

The quick and easy way to spot stay at home job scams is when they promise too much money for too little effort. Home business scams can be more difficult to spot, but if it seems as though they’re promising more than they can deliver, they probably are.

Read reviews – not just the ones they share on the site, and hopefully not just reviews from affiliates trying to earn a commission. Seek out negative reviews. They’re often far more informative than any glowing positive review. At the very least, you need to know that not everyone succeeds in every opportunity.

I’ve written a lot about work at home scams. You may want to read The Work at Home Job Seeker’s Guide to Scams as a quick start to understanding what’s out there.

Avoid “SHINY!” Syndrome

The last trap many people fall into when seeking ways to work at home is to jump from opportunity to opportunity. The next opportunity always sounds so promising, and if you aren’t seeing enough results with what you’re doing right now, it’s very tempting to make the switch.

Don’t. At least not that quickly.

There are times when it makes sense to try out a new opportunity. But too many people spend money on one thing and then another, and then another. They never give any of the opportunities a fair chance.

That’s how you end up frustrated and feeling that all stay at home jobs are scams. Maybe you fell for some scams along the way also, but maybe some things you just didn’t give enough time and effort.

The only time you should buy something for a home business opportunity is when you’re ready to make use of it. Don’t buy for later. You’ll forget about it and the money will be wasted. Bookmark the interesting stuff you might want to try later, and go back to it when you’re ready. You’ll be amazed by how rarely that happens.

Sometimes the best thing you can do to find a stay at home job is to make your own opportunity. It won’t always work out, but it’s amazing when it does.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated March 20th, 2018

What Does It Take To Work at Home In Customer Service?

What Does It Take To Work at Home In Customer Service?

Have you been considering working at home in customer service? It’s a very popular option for people who want a home based job. It’s perceived as an easy, almost anyone can do it job. Perception isn’t the same as reality, however, and many people find the requirements more difficult to meet than they expected. Do you have what it takes to work at home in customer service? Here are some of the things you need to know.

Are You Qualified To Work At Home In Customer Service?

It’s true that you may not need a lot of experience to work at home in customer service. There are a number of companies that hire agents for entry level jobs. A few are LiveOpsNexRepTalk2Rep, and [email protected]. You can learn more about these companies by checking out my entry level remote jobs post or by visiting the company job pages to see current listings.

Even entry level jobs have certain expectations, of course. They generally require at least a high school diploma. They may require a certain typing speed. You must also be computer literate. No employer will be willing to teach you the basics of using a computer that you should already know before applying for a job that mostly uses computers.

Other companies expect you to have customer service experience already. They don’t want people who are unfamiliar with the work. These jobs may pay a little better. It’s something to keep an eye out for as you build experience if your current job isn’t paying enough.

Some jobs will only be available to people who live in certain states. This can have to do with taxes or legal reasons. Other times they may expect you to come in for training at a certain location, and so need you to be local, even though your work after training will be done at home.

Have A Quiet Space To Work

Failing to have a quiet enough space to work is one of the big reasons customer service work at home jobs don’t work out. Employers check for background noise on your calls sometimes.

This means that if you have a baby or child who might start screaming for you while you work, you probably won’t last. Same for if the dog barks or the cat is noisy trying to get your attention. Noisy neighbors or someone coming to the door may be a problem as well.

Customer service is one of those work at home jobs you really cannot do at the kitchen table unless you’re home alone.

Some employers may expect you to have a door you can close to respect customer privacy. Most customer service agents handle at least a little private information, even if it’s just customer contact information.

Honestly, the requirement for a quiet workspace may be even more stringent than what is expected of people in some call centers. You’ve probably heard plenty of background noise when talking to people who work in call centers.

Of course, those are all sounds that go with a call center, not a person at home. Companies don’t want customers to know that their employees work at home, as some people regard that as less professional.

Have The Right Equipment

Good equipment is a must to work at home in customer service. Not only will it make your job easier, it may help keep the background noise out of your calls.

But before that comes the right internet and telephone connections. Most remote customer service jobs require a wired connection, both for your phone and for your internet connection. This improves the security of the connection, which protects customer privacy.

Your internet connection must be high speed, usually cable or FIOS. Wifi, satellite internet or cell phone data connections are not good enough. If you can’t connect to your router through a wired connection, you won’t qualify for most of these jobs.

Depending on the employer, you may use a VOIP connection through your computer or need a wired telephone connection. You may need to get a dedicated line through your telephone provider. This line cannot have call waiting or any other feature that might interfere with your ability to take calls for your employer.

To go with that, you will need a wired telephone headset. Some employers will prefer specific models, and it’s best to check with them before buying something. Most will insist on a noise cancelling model, so that very few background noises will make it through to your calls. It probably won’t fully cancel out a screaming child, but may help with other common background noises.

You can buy some models locally, but for a wider selection, Amazon.com is easier.

And of course, your computer must be current enough. Once in a while you will find a job that requires an older operating system, but most prefer a very current version of Windows. Some employers cannot accept applicants who use Mac OS.

Know How Flexible The Job Really Is

Many people want to work at home because they want flexible hours. It’s nice to be able to work when the baby goes down for a nap when you’re a new parent, or between other activities of your day. That’s not how it always works, however.

Most employers will expect you to set a schedule. You may have to bid for schedules each week and be expected to stick to that schedule. In other words, you can’t schedule based on how that particular day is going. Employers need to know that they’ll have coverage for incoming calls at all times.

If you have a set schedule or bid for a schedule, stick to it. Adherence is one of the big ways employers evaluate remote employees in these kinds of jobs. If you’re always late to your shift or quit taking calls early, they will notice and mark you down for it.

Some will expect you to work within normal office hours, while others are open 24/7/365, and expect you to be available for night and weekend shifts. Depending on the best hours for you to work, this can be a good thing. College students, for example, may love that they can get work hours after classes are out for the day.

If the job is more flexible about when you work, the availability of work may depend on call volume or by who signs in first. Just because you’re available at a particular time doesn’t mean work will be there waiting for you.

Understand Your Pay Rate

Many customer service work at home jobs pay on talk time, rather than hourly. This means that if you aren’t on a call, you aren’t getting paid. Obviously, this sucks if you have a shift that gets very few calls, but you have to sit there waiting.

Other positions may pay hourly.

Some customer service jobs may offer commissions or bonuses, especially if you’re expected to upsell. This can be a big help if you do well, but don’t assume that you will get top commissions right at the start. When considering your base pay plus commissions, it can be safer to assume you’re near the bottom so that any extra is a bonus, not something you’re relying on.

Understand Employer Expectations

Make sure you understand what your employer expects you to do. This goes beyond merely sticking to your schedule.

Many employers, for example, will train you on a script. On some jobs, part or all of the script may be a legal requirement, not just something your employer wants you to say. I had to deal with that when I worked for the phone company many years ago. While many parts of the calls we could be flexible, there were certain things that absolutely had to be said in a particular way each and every time.

Employers may expect you to try to make a sale on every call. This is a real pain when you’re dealing with a customer complaint. Once again, speaking from experience. There are times when you can resolve a complaint with a better product, but other times the attempt at a sale will only annoy the customer, and you know it will only annoy them, but your employer will expect you to do so anyhow. Having to make sales can be fun on the right calls, but there will be times when you wish you could just handle the problem without the pressure to sell something at the same time.

Beware Of Customer Service Job Scams

There are scammers who set up job listings that claim to offer customer service jobs from home. Make sure you don’t fall for anything too easily.

As with any other work at home job scams, there are some key things to look out for.

The first thing is to see how they’re contacting you or want you to contact them. You’re best off applying directly through the employer’s website, or through a link their website directed you to. It’s not at all uncommon for employers to have one job board or another handle job applications.

If the job contacted you or you found the job listing elsewhere (even here), look into it carefully. Make sure it’s the real thing before you apply.

Big warning signs include being directed to apply on a different website or being requested to send your application to some Gmail or similar address. Very few real employers have applicants send in their information that way.

Another warning sign is when the pay is too good to be true. Scammers rely on greed or need overtaking common sense. If the pay is oddly high and the interest in your qualifications is minimal, it’s most likely a scam and you should skip it.

If you have any doubts at all about a work at home job, research it before you give any personal information. It’s better to take a little extra time with these things and be safe rather than fall for a scam. Falling for a scam will take up a ridiculous amount of your time dealing with the aftermath, not to mention any money you may lose to it.

Expect Your Job Hunt To Take Time

Very few people find a work at home job of any sort right away. It’s no different from searching for any other kind of work in that respect. Just think about how many people you know who have searched for a job outside the home for months with little or no success. It’s no different when you’re looking for something to do from home.

Except that there are probably fewer jobs and more people applying for them. Most home based jobs are open to people in many states, and may even be available worldwide. You aren’t just competing with your local workforce for these positions.

Take Your Work At Home In Customer Service Job Seriously

Once you’ve landed that work at home in customer service job, take it seriously. You need to be every bit as professional as you would be if you worked in their office.

Adhere to your schedule, as mentioned before. Be professional with the customers you’re dealing with. Demand that family and friends respect your work hours.

That last may take some time, depending on how your family and friends view work at home jobs. Some have a lot of trouble taking them seriously. But if you are strict with them, they will learn eventually that they can’t expect you to drop everything with your work at home job any more than they would expect someone who worked outside the home to do that.

If you aren’t sure that your family will handle it, practice before you get started. Tell everyone you’re doing a practice shift, go into your home office, and do something on your computer. See if they can leave you alone and keep things quiet enough.

Talk to them after about what went right and what went wrong. This may help you come up with a plan for when you’re really working. Getting off to a good start is the best way to ensure that you keep your new work at home customer service job when you get it.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated March 13th, 2018

Coworking Space Vs. Coffee Shop – Which Is Better?

Coworking Space Vs. Coffee Shop - Which Is Better?

What do you do when you work at home, but you don’t want to work AT home on a particular day? The coffee shop is the traditional answer for many people. You get your coffee, you get your wifi, and a little bit of socialization. So long as the coffee shop doesn’t mind you hanging around, it’s a pretty good deal.

But have you considered a coworking space? It costs more than going to a coffee shop, but it has a lot of advantages too. Let’s take a look at a coworking space vs. coffee shop so that you can decide which is better for your needs.

The Coffee Shop

Coffee shops have long been the choice for teleworkers who need to get out of the house for a while, but want to keep working. The free wifi and easy access to coffee and snacks, makes it a highly appealing place to work when you don’t have to be glued to your home office.

Even if you don’t chat with other customers, it’s a little bit of human contact, which many work at home parents need. You can even bring your kids if necessary, although bringing children means you probably won’t stay to work as long. Coffee shops aren’t made for little kids to sit around at very often, and there’s only so long that their tablets can keep them well enough behaved.

Coffee shop

On the minus side, you’re taking up space the coffee shop may need for other customers, and they may not like it if you stay too long without additional purchases. Most people recommend that you make a purchase every couple hours at least.

You shouldn’t make a lot of phone calls or do other noisy work while working in a coffee shop. You’ll annoy the other patrons, and it’s rude. These are things you should be doing elsewhere.

Meeting quietly with a client or coworker at a coffee shop isn’t too bad, so long as you aren’t disrupting the other patrons, and you have each purchased something.

A good rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t be louder than the other patrons. If the shop tends to be quiet, your phone calls will be more resented than if there are a lot of people already chatting. Of course, a louder shop also makes it harder to hear the other person on the call, not to mention the background noise they may get. There’s a balance you should find.

Above all else, respect that the coffee shop is a business, and you’re using their facilities.

The Coworking Space

A coworking space costs more to use than a coffee shop, but it has a lot of advantages. It can be worthwhile to use one at times. Some work at home employers offer a stipend to use a coworking space.

The first thing to do when considering a coworking space is to see if they offer a free one day trial. Many do, and you should use it before you consider whether you want to use the space more often. This gives you a chance to meet the other people who use the space. You’ll get a feel for if the culture there is what you want. They should at least offer a tour if they don’t have a free trial.

Coworking space

You might be surprised by how affordable a coworking space can be. I took a look at the website of a local coworking space, called The Orange Space. I’m not going to quote prices, as these vary so much from coworking space to coworking space. A day pass may not far off from what you might spend in a day at the coffee shop. Coworking spaces may offer part time and full time memberships available too. If you used this kind of space regularly, it could come out cheaper than going to the coffee shop.

Plus this one, at least, includes coffee and tea. You’ll have to bring your own snacks.

Costs will vary quite a bit depending on your area. I saw prices ranging from $12 for a single day pass, up to the $500 range for a dedicated, full time desk. Prices get higher if you need a space for a team, but I considered what an individual might pay. Several places had monthly plans starting at $100 per month, which is very reasonable. A few go higher for individuals than $500/month, but those are in expensive areas.

You definitely don’t want to bring your kids to a coworking space. It’s a professional space, and the other people working won’t appreciate the distraction, even if the kids are mostly good. Many coworking spaces do not allow children at all.

A few coworking spaces offer childcare as well, which is great if that’s a problem you’re facing. It costs extra to use the childcare, of course, but if you need that help it’s a great convenience. Collab&Play is one such company.

The great part about coworking spaces is that everyone else is there for the same reason – to work! While you may chat with the other people working there, you all have the goal of having a productive day. Still, coworking gives you a great chance to network and connect with other remote workers in your area.

Which Is Better?

When considering a coworking space vs. coffee shop, it may not be clear which is better for your needs.

If your use will be rare and you don’t care about networking with other professionals, you may as well stick to the coffee shop for those days that you need to get out of the house. Libraries may be a good choice too.

On the other hand, if you like getting out of the house to work often, and enjoy the ability to network with other professionals, go for the coworking space if it’s in your budget. Take a look at the ones available in your area, and try out the ones that look good to you. See if they’re a fit. So long as you don’t need anything fancy in your coffee, many of them include that. You won’t even miss out on your caffeine.

These aren’t your only choices for places to work when you work at home. You have a lot more options. But both coworking spaces and coffee shops are popular due to the advantages they have to offer.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated March 5th, 2018

How Much Information Should You Share When Looking For A Work At Home Job?

How Much Information Should You Share When Looking For A Work At Home Job?

You’re looking for a work at home job, and you think you’ve found something. But they’re asking for some information you aren’t sure that you should share. When is the right time to share the information they’re asking for? How do you know which information you should share when looking for a work at home job?

This isn’t always easy to answer. It can depend on the kind of work you’re looking at and how confident you are that the opportunity is legitimate.

When In Doubt, Don’t Share

We all worry about being scammed when looking for stay at home jobs. It’s normal. There are a lot of scams out there.

This makes sharing even normal personal information requested on any other job application more difficult when you’re talking about applying online. You just don’t have the reassurance that you get from applying with a local company. Most local companies you can drive by and see their actual location. You know they’re real because you’ve been there.

You can do a pretty good job of researching potential employers if you know how. Look up reviews for them online. Many companies are reviewed by current and former employees on sites such as Indeed or Glassdoor. You can learn about them on LinkedIn as well. Make sure you know the company’s name and do a little research on them before you apply for a job.

When in doubt, see if you can submit the online application without all the information filled out, and use the comment box (if available) to explain why you have left certain information out. A Social Security Number, for example, is necessary for a company to deal with taxes, and may be requested if a background check is being done. It’s really not necessary to share it otherwise, and you can take the chance of offering to provide it only if you make it that far in the hiring process.

Information You Shouldn’t Share Immediately

There is some information that you should not share with a potential employer until you know that the opportunity is legitimate and that the employer needs it. This would include your social security number and banking information.

An employer only needs your social security number once you’re hired or to run a background check. They shouldn’t need it sooner than that. If they want your social security number sooner, find out why and decide if you’re comfortable with their reasoning.

Your banking information can be very high risk to share. It’s wonderful when your employer lets you sign up for direct deposit so that you get paid sooner, but there is a risk in giving them access to that information.

You also don’t need to share information about your family or personal situation more than absolutely necessary. Talking about your kids or other parts of your family life can make you look less professional, and make it less likely that you will be hired for the job. It doesn’t matter that you want to work at home to have more time with your kids. Potential employers want to know what you’ll do for them, not what they’ll do for you.

In general, not just in your job hunt, you should never share your contact information, social security number, or birth date publicly. This includes on social media. Putting too much information out there in general sets you up for identity theft. And of course, never share your mother’s maiden name or any of the other information you may have used to secure your bank account.

Is Professionally Embarrassing Information Already Out There?

A lot of people have discovered that information they’ve shared online socially can impact them professionally. More and more employers check applicants out online to see what’s out there. Employers may expect you to give them links to your social media accounts so that they can check them out easily. If they want this, take some time to make sure your social media accounts won’t mess up your job hunt.

No one has perfect control over what appears on a search for their name online. I’m not currently on the first page for my name, one of the curses of having a very common name. But since I’m not exactly going for the guru thing I’ve never stressed about getting my name up there in the rankings.

But the factors you do control you should take into consideration. Look at how you’re presenting yourself on social networks and anywhere else you appear online. Work at home jobs will mostly be concerned with your professionalism, and depending on the position you’re applying for these things can be quite relevant.

Keep It Professional

One important thing to do when you’re looking for a job online is to make sure you give a professional appearance with the information you provide. This means you don’t want to have an email address that’s fun to have socially but might make a potential employer lose interest in you. An email address based on your name is best for most purposes, and it can be nice to keep your job hunting emails separate from the usual personal stuff anyhow.

Potential employers also aren’t going to be interested in your home situation. Even if they’re hiring you for a home based position, they don’t need to know about your kids or how you’re going to handle caring for them while you work. That’s your problem and the expectation is that you’ll handle it.

What they do want to know is why you’re the right employee for them to hire. Make a good impression in that area by emphasizing your relevant skills. Potential employers need employees who know how to separate their family life from their work at home life. If you can’t do that in the application process, they may feel that you won’t keep them appropriately separated when you’re working.

Don’t Speak Poorly Of Current Or Previous Jobs

Never speak negatively of your current or previous jobs. If you worked for a company and it went out of business, you can say that. It even gives you a good reason for leaving.

But don’t go into problems you had at your old job. Potential employers will only care in that they will wonder how you will speak of them outside of work or when you leave. Speaking ill of an employer, past or present, reflects negatively on your professionalism, not on the employer you’re talking about.

Don’t Be Desperate

You may be desperate to land a job. I hear it all the time from people contacting me about finding ways to work at home. They need money, badly.

That’s not the potential employer’s problem. Some might even take advantage and offer you a lower rate of pay than they might otherwise because they know they have the upper hand.

Any situation that isn’t relevant to that employer is something you shouldn’t share. That goes double if it makes you sound desperate for a job. Needing a job badly won’t make them more interested in you as a candidate. It might make them consider paying you less if they decide to hire you.

Hunting for a job always means sharing some personal information. Someone offering you a job (not a business opportunity) without wanting to know about your work history probably doesn’t have a real job to offer you. Make sure you know what the appropriate limits are, and if it feels wrong to share a particular piece of information, find out if it’s really necessary to share it.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated February 26th, 2018

How Safe Are Work At Home Jobs?

How Safe Are Work At Home Jobs?

Being scammed is one of the big fears of every work at home job seekers. If you’ve done any research at all about working at home, you know that it’s a real concern. But the question is, how concerned should you be? How can you find safe work at home jobs?

In part, this depends on how you look for a work at home job. If you use the right resources, it’s fairly safe. The wrong ones, pretty risky. No matter how you look for a work at home job, there are things you can do to make your work at home job search safer.

Know The Signs Of A Work At Home Scam

The most important thing you need to know when looking for a work at home job is what the signs of a scam are. Knowing this will help you avoid them.

This will help you even if a scammer is using the name of a legitimate company to fool you. It happens – in fact, some companies that offer work at home jobs have warnings about this on their sites because it’s such a problem.

Your classic work at home scam will offer too much money for too little work. That’s the essential basis for scams such as the check cashing scam. They send you a check or money order for hundreds or thousands of dollars, tell you to keep a couple hundred for yourself and wire the rest back to them. It works on some people because they get greedy. The idea that you can earn hundreds for a half hour’s work, including driving, is pretty appealing to many people.

Poor grammar and lots of typos are often indicative of scams. Many come from people who do not speak English as their native language, so when they try to scam someone who speaks English, it’s not written the same way a native speaker would write it. It may also help to weed out those who are too aware, as the ones who dismiss the scam due to how it’s written may be too likely to see through it. Scams prey on the unwary.

I’ve written quite a bit about work at home scam on other occasions. Read these for more detailed information.

The Work at Home Job Seeker’s Guide to Scams
How to Spot a Work at Home Scam
4 Work at Home Scam Emails
What If The Work At Home Job Is Legitimate But Illegal Or Unethical?
The Check Cashing Scam Is Still Around

Know The Kind Of Work At Home Job You’re Looking For

It’s much easier to fall for a work at home scam if you have no idea what kind of work you’re looking for. This is because generic terms such as “work at home” are used to attract you even when you don’t have a type of job in mind.

I see so many people do this. They ask for help to find a work at home job, with no information beyond that because they haven’t thought that far. They want the advantages of working at home but haven’t truly considered it beyond that.

Know what you’re looking for. Are you open to a home business, starting a blog, etc., or do you only want a work at home job? What kind of job do you want? Do you have work experience? What skills, even if you haven’t used them in a job?

Being specific allows you to narrow down your search quickly. That’s vital for a safe work at home job hunt. It won’t guarantee that you avoid all the scams, but it helps.

Use Trusted Resources

Perhaps the best way to have a safe work at home job hunt is to use trusted resources to find a work at home job. I aim to have this blog and my remote job board be that kind of a resource.

If you aren’t certain about the kind of jobs you’re looking to do at home, for example, you can try my list of entry level remote jobs or my list of remote jobs with benefits. Either will give you a good number of places to start your search.

Even trusted resources can fail you. I can’t tell you how often I’ve gone through my list of companies to find out that one or another has gone out of business since I last checked. That puts the company’s domain at risk for being used by scammers. Things change fast on the internet sometimes, and it’s not always for the better. This is why you must always use caution in your job hunt.

Use Caution With Your Personal Information

Always be careful when sharing your personal information online, especially your Social Security number, credit card number, or bank information.

Some legitimate companies have been known to ask for your Social Security number during the application process. I recommend trying not to share that until you’ve been offered a job – they don’t need that information until then.

Some companies will ask for credit card information to pay for a background check. I’ve never liked the notion of potential employees paying for a background check, but that’s how some companies do it. Be very, very certain that they’re legitimate before taking a chance on this.

Companies shouldn’t need any banking information until they’re paying you, and so that should never be shared in an application.

Anyone who is too eager to get your personal information too quickly should be eyed with caution. It might be normal for their particular business, but it’s not a good idea for you to go along with it too easily.

Places You Shouldn’t Look For A Work At Home Job

There are some places that are very high risk in your work at home job hunt. I would recommend avoiding these in general.

Street Signs & Public Bulletin Boards – You’ve probably seen the signs on the street or on bulletin boards advertising work at home or easy money opportunities. These are almost certainly scams. You may get the occasional person trying to recruit their downline for a network marketing company (a risk of a different sort), but many others are flat out scams.

Newspapers – Job offerings in newspapers can be legit, but how many people actually look in newspapers for jobs anymore? The scams that get posted in newspaper ads are looking for people who aren’t that savvy. You’re better off using your trusted online sources so that you can do research on the jobs you find during your search.

Newspapers are also too localized to be much good for work at home jobs. You might find one or two, but you can find so many more if you search online.

Comment Spam – How often have you seen spam comments on blog posts, forums, and social media advertising easy money earned from home? They aren’t honest. Usually, they just tell you to post ads of the same sort and make money on commissions. That’s not an honest model.

Craigslist – There are legitimate work at home jobs posted on Craigslist, but there are also scams. The community can flag the postings to shut them down, but they may still be up for a while. You’ll also find business opportunities claiming to be job opportunities. I’ve always hated that sort of deception, but people use it.

Can The Better Business Bureau Help You Find Safe Work At Home Jobs?

Many people will tell you to check with the Better Business Bureau when looking for work at home jobs. I’ve done so in the past, but these days I think there are better ways to figure out if a work at home job opportunity is, in fact, a scam.

Many people don’t realize that the Better Business Bureau is not a government agency. They are themselves a business. Companies pay to be members.

That said, sometimes you can use them to spot a scam. Just don’t use them as your only source, because they can’t tell you if someone is using the good name of a real company to scam you. They’re only helpful if scamming potential employees is all the business seems to do.

Know The Risks Of Home Business Opportunities

If you decide that your work at home job hunt is going to end with a home business opportunity of whatever sort, know what the risks are before you join.

Network marketing opportunities, for examples, are highly appealing to people who desperately need to earn money from home. Promoters can always point to the people who have earned a ton of money from the opportunity. You can usually check out the product before you join so that you know it’s something you’d like to do.

What often gets swept under the carpet is how many people lose money on these opportunities. Some people will lose thousands of dollars trying to keep up a good supply of products to sell. Most people who join even the best of the network marketing opportunities do not thrive at it. Others do very well, but it’s a risk you must be willing to take.

The same goes for blogging, much as I love it. You always hear about the people making five figures or more a month blogging. It sounds wonderful.

From what I’ve heard, most bloggers earn less than $100 a month. Is that a chance you’re willing to take?

The great part about blogging is that it doesn’t have to cost you anything. If you decide you want to blog, I recommend spending a little on it, as good hosting and domain name aren’t free, but they are cheap. The risk is pretty low, and you don’t have to spend more until you’re ready to take that chance. Choose the right topic, and blogging is fun, regardless of the money made. I strongly recommend trying to earn money from your blog, just because it’s so awesome when it works, so long as you don’t overspend trying to make it happen.

Be careful of blogging courses and such. Many high income bloggers have them, and income from selling their courses may be a significant part of their income. Taking their course doesn’t guarantee that you’ll do equally well. The right course might just be a wise investment. The wrong one will be a waste.

The same goes for any other home business opportunity. Know the risks before you risk too much money. There are times when spending money is the best path to improving your home business. Other times it’s no better than a scam aimed at home business owners.

Safe Work At Home Jobs Can Be Found

If you give your job hunt time and don’t give in to desperation, safe work at home jobs can be found. Take the time to look over every opportunity carefully so that you know what you’re getting into before you share your personal information or spend any money. Do it right, and you’ll avoid most scams with ease.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.