How do you spot a scam?

It’s not always easy to spot a scam. Many times, checking with the BBB and other resources simply is not sufficient because the scam is too new. But when you are looking for a work at home opportunity of any kind, it helps to know what red flags to be aware of, whether in a job or business opportunity.

The first rule of thumb is can you follow the money? That is, can you figure out how the company will be earning money from your efforts? If you’re offering lifetime free services to someone and earning a large commission every time someone signs up, where does the money come from? It’s easy to tell yourself it can’t be a scam because no money is being spent, but you need to consider more possibilities. What information are you giving them? What about your customers? Can that be used against you? Do you have to download anything at any point? Spyware and/or affiliate commission theft could be the goal.

Second, is the pay commensurate with the effort you are putting forth? If they are offering 2-3 times the going rate for a job, but you have to pay for training, it’s probably a scam. They’re relying on your need to earn money and desire to earn lots of it with little effort to cloud your judgement. Similarly, if you are earning commissions for your efforts, does it look like the company you will be representing can possibly be making a profit? This is very similar to point #1 above, but worth considering on its own.

Next, what kinds of promises are being made to you and to the customer? Are they even remotely possible? This can be either a bad case of exaggeration, which may concern the FTC, or a sign of a scam. In either case you do not want to be involved.

In the case of home business, I am always wary of pre-launch hype from marketers I have never heard of. If they don’t have a name in the business, how do I know their product will be any good? It could just be a way to get information, get you to download something, etc., rather than the introduction of a real, quality product. Pre-launch marketing does get used by reputable marketers too, but not very often. After all, if you’re offering a quality product do you really need to get people excited about it before they can see it. It might be fun, but not all that necessary. Pre-launch hype also has a way of annoying potential customers, as they wade through months of excessive advertising and spam about the product. It generally makes much more sense for a company to launch a product when ready, rather than give a buyer time to change his or her mind because they’re tired of the hype.

There is no guarantee, however, that a given opportunity is a scam just because it looks like one. It is possible to misjudge, but you have to decide if you would rather miss an opportunity that could hurt you financially or destroy your reputation if it is a scam than take a chance on it. If too many warning flags go up, it is probably not worth it in my opinion, but you have to decide for yourself.


Related Articles

Work at Home Scams
This is a topic anyone looking at work at home opportunities needs to be aware of. Scams are often easier to come by than legitimate opportunities, so it pays to know what the signs are.

Work from home job? Business? How do you decide?
There's more to getting started working at home than deciding you want to earn from home. One of the most important decisions you will make is whether you are more suited to a work at home job or a home business.

Choosing a Direct Sales Opportunity
Direct sales opportunities are truly popular. You can sell to the people you know, maybe have parties to sell your products. You need to be careful in choosing your opportunity, however.

Copyright © 2003-2018 Stephanie Foster unless otherwise indicated


Facebook Twitter Google Plus Pinterest Feedly
Home With the Kids on LinkedIn

Are you ready to work at home? Subscribe to learn about blogging and other ways to earn money from home.


Home with the Kids
Has Been Seen On...

Yahoo! Finance

Top Work at Home Job Resources


Free Mini-Course
Find out if becoming a general transcriptionist is the right career choice for you. This all-inclusive online education system will teach you general transcription.

Career Step
Want to be a medical coder or transcriptionist? Career Step provides quality training for people wanting to enter these fields and more..


Employers Start Here
Employer FAQ
Job Seekers Start Here
Job Seeker FAQ


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.