Common. Do I really need to say it?

I came across an article on CNN about work at home scams. What caught my attention was the statistic they used. Staffcentrix, a company that goes through home based job leads, finds there to be a 54 to 1 ratio of work at home scams to legitimate opportunities.

That sounds quite reasonable. Anyone who has searched much at all knows that the vast majority are scams. It sucks, but it’s true.

It’s so easy for scams to get going. The Internet is so anonymous. It’s cheap to get going. You can scam work from anywhere in the world. And with people getting desperate for solutions to their money problems right now, scams can take off all too easily.

Fortunately, there are many signs of work at home scams.

As the article says, be wary of “palm trees, beaches and bikinis”. That’s so true it’s ridiculous. These and other claims of big money are all too obvious in many scams.

In my work at home scams section on this site, I cover quite a number of scams and their symptoms. Some are classics, such as the envelope stuffing scams. Others are more recent, such as reshipping and payment processing scams.

The challenge doesn’t just stop when you find one of the relatively few legitimate opportunities, especially if you have a home business. Too many people will still assume it’s a scam because that’s what they expect with the phrase “work at home”.

Getting a work at home job doesn’t stop the perception completely either, believe me. I worked for 3 years as a medical transcriptionist and still had people certain that I was being tricked somehow, despite the regular paychecks and actual work being done.

With such a prevalence of scams, be alert as you search. Some work at home opportunities do indeed have people earning fantastic livings, but most won’t. Just as with any other sort of business, most home businesses fail. Just as with outside the home jobs, there’s competition for legitimate work at home jobs, and they can be very hard to land.

Set your expectations to realistic and be prepared to work hard. That’s one of the most important steps to successfully working at home.