Last Updated May 14th, 2019

10 Rules To Help You Avoid Work At Home Job Scams

10 Rules To Help You Avoid Work At Home Job Scams

The biggest problem with working at home is getting started. It’s tough! There are more scams than real opportunities out there, and lots of people get sucked in, not knowing any better. There has to be a way to avoid work at home job scams, right?

Actually, there are several ways.

There’s no way to 100% guarantee you won’t fall for a scam, but many are so obvious that you can avoid them just by paying attention.

1. Ridiculously high pay.

If the pay is amazingly high for the amount of effort, it’s probably a scam. Thousands of dollars a month for easy, part time work – scam!

This is particularly common with the classic check cashing or shipping scams. No one is going to send you a check to mystery shop a place and have you send back the excess. That’s not how it’s done. That check is going to bounce hard, and you’ll be responsible. That part of the money you got to keep won’t compare to what you lose.

2. No resume required.

beware of work at home scams

Real employers want to know about your past work experience. They are not going to hire every person who contacts them. They want the best person for the job, and your resume is a part of how they screen out the people they know they don’t want.

Scammers don’t much care about your resume. They don’t care about your past work experience. They want to suck you in quickly and get your personal information and/or money. Resumes are nothing to scammers.

3. Call for information.

Work at home positions don’t have people for you to call for more information. Real businesses are too busy with their business to deal with that many job seekers. When it’s a work at home job on the line, there will be a lot of people calling if there’s a number available, and employers know it.

Scammers want to talk to you. How else are they going to get you to bite? They want to appeal to your dreams of an easy work at home job with high pay. That’s easier to do with personal contact.

A similar scam is on social media, when the company asks you to pm them for details. This happens a lot in groups for job seekers. Legitimate companies will tell you who they are. A request for a pm is either a scam or an opportunity that for one reason or another can’t be posted publicly. If you do respond to one of these, use caution.

4. Ad says “work at home.”

For the most part, legitimate work at home positions are labeled as “telecommute” or “remote” positions. It’s certainly not a featured part of the ad. Real employers want the best person for the job, not the one who first notices the chance to work at home and then the job requirements.

Scammers know people type things like “work at home” into job boards and search engines. Having that phrase feature prominently in the ad is one way to get your attention.

That said, some legitimate jobs will be listed as “work at home.” Consider this a caution sign, not an absolute dealbreaker.

5. “No Experience Necessary.”

scam warning signs

Sure, there are remote jobs out there that don’t require experience. They aren’t that common, however. Working at home is demanding, and employers want to know that you have at least some sort of work experience, preferably in the industry you’re about to start working in. If experience isn’t an absolute necessity, they may call it something more along the lines of “entry level position.”

Scammers, once again, don’t care about your work experience. They count on your desperation to find some sort of work at home.

6. Vague job listing.

One of the great things about the internet is that employers can give details about what they’re looking for in an employee. It’s not like it was when job ads were usually in the newspaper, and space came at a premium.

These days you should expect to see specific skill and/or experience requirements in job ads. Employers don’t want tons of resumes from people who aren’t remotely qualified for the position. They want to hear from people who have as many of the skills listed as possible and a willingness to earn the rest.

Scammers don’t need to give a lot of information. They know the suckers are going to contact them anyway.

7. Pay to show your interest.

Scammers love to talk about how many people are interested in their opportunity. That’s why they need you to send them some money to show that you’re serious about the opportunity. It gets rid of all the people who aren’t serious about this fantastic opportunity you’re going to miss out on if you don’t send in your money.

When was the last time you heard about a company wanting people to pay to apply? Never sounds about right.

8.They want your bank account information.

get out of work at home scams

Some scams will ask for your bank account information, saying they want to direct deposit your pay. Direct deposit is a wonderful thing, you get your money faster, but be careful in sharing your banking information with anyone.

If you want direct deposit for your pay, make absolutely certain the opportunity is legitimate first. You may have to work a while and receive paper paychecks for a time to be certain if the company is not well known. Even if you have researched the company, make sure you’re really dealing with who you think you’re dealing with, as some scams steal the names of legitimate companies to gain your trust.

9. The interview is through Google Hangouts.

I don’t know why it is, but many scam companies like to use Google Hangouts or other messaging apps to conduct “interviews.”

Online interviews are common enough, these days, but Hangouts isn’t where they usually take place. Video interviews or interviews over the phone are more common.

10. They use Gmail or other free email.

Legitimate companies use email addresses set up through their own domains, not Gmail. It’s a great service for individuals, but utterly unprofessional for real businesses.

Scammers, on the other hand, love how easy it is to set up free email addresses. They can often get a free email address with the name of a legitimate company as a part of their email address.

When in doubt, check with the company you think you’re in contact with another way. Go to their website and find a different way to contact them. Companies that hire people who work at home are generally well aware that scammers steal their good names to trick people. They should quickly be able to tell you if you’re really in contact with them.

Knowing how to avoid work at home scams is vital to your work at home job hunt. There are few things as frustrating as falling for a scam. It takes away from the time you could better spend on finding a legitimate work at home job. Do your best to avoid work at home job scams so you don’t waste your time.

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 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. 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 August 2nd, 2007

Thursday Thirteen – 13 Ways to Avoid Work at Home Scams

Being scammed when you want to work at home is so common that a huge percentage of those who work at home have fallen for a scame one time or another. Sometimes they’ve fallen for multiple scams. The scams are so easy to find that many people think that they are all that exist.

Obviously that’s not so, but finding the real stuff is difficult. One of the best ways to avoid being scammed is to know what to look out for.

  1. Read on the FTC website. They offer some great tips on spotting work at home and home business scams. They only really talk about the most common ones, but that’s a good place to start.
  2. Read my list of common work at home scams. I don’t generally name names, but knowing what a scam looks like can be more useful because that stays consistent as names change.
  3. Don’t pay for a work at home job. Home business opportunities often do cost money, but if you’re going to be an employee, they should pay you when you work. Searching for employees is a cost of doing business.
  4. Watch out for exaggerated claims. Income claims should be backed up.
  5. Ads written in all caps or with tons of exclamation points are trying to get you excited about the opportunity without really thinking about it. Do not let excitement cloud your judgement.
  6. Ads that don’t really make it clear what you will be doing. Legitimate companies want you to know what you are getting into. You shouldn’t have to pay to find out.
  7. “No effort required,” “No sales required,” etc., when you are obviously going to be selling something. A home business requires effort. If you want people to buy from you, you’re going to have to sell them on the idea, even if it’s only from your own enthusiasm for the products.
  8. Pressure. Do not let yourself be pressured into joining an opportunity before you have done your due diligence on it.
  9. Research. One of the simplest ways to check out a company is to start searching on it. The BBB site is a simple place to start, but not the best resource. But my own favorite is to type into Google the company name followed by “scam” and see what comes up. No guarantees that any of this will get you the information you need, but sometimes it tells you exactly what you need to know.
  10. Understand the motivation behind reviews of a company. If someone is getting paid to recruit you into a company, it can change what they say about it. Be aware that excessively positive reviews are not necessarily honest reviews.
  11. Follow the money. If you can’t tell where the money you will be earning is coming from, be wary of the opportunity.
  12. Excessive earnings. Most people will never earn $8000/week working part time.
  13. Have a friend look over the opportunity with you. Having someone who is not going to join the opportunity take a look means that they might spot something you missed.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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 July 13th, 2007

How Should You Review a Stay at Home Business Opportunity?

One of the big challenges about starting a stay at home business is getting past all the scams. There are many wonderful opportunities out there, but finding them is not easy. And there are so many opportunities that sound wonderful, yet turn out to be scams.

What can you do?

You need to learn how to review home business opportunities for yourself. While you can rely somewhat on what people say about them online, many will have a financial interest in making the opportunity sound good. This is not helpful if they’re promoting a scam.

There are some sites that can help. You can check with the BBB, but that is not always a reliable indicator.

The challenge is that if an opportunity is new, there won’t be any obvious negative information to be found. How do you cope then? Read the rest of this entry »

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 I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.