HomeBookmark Info.comMake Info.com your HomepagePlugins Visit other Info sites:
Info.com - Your independent search platform...

Work at Home

Working at home is convenient but also provides distractions.

Many employers offer telecommuting positions. [©Jupiter Images, 2010]
©Jupiter Images, 2010
Many employers offer telecommuting positions.

Work at Home

Work-at-home opportunities offer the allure of being able to work anytime from the comfort of one's home, leading many people to fall victim to fraud. While there are legitimate work from home jobs and opportunities, there are also many scams, and the wise consumer learns how to tell them apart.

Scams will usually offer get-rich-quick schemes involving almost no effort on the part of the individual. This kind of opportunity is cloaked in glamour and intrigues the consumer with the promise of easy riches. Investigation of said opportunities before getting started will yield the truth before money or effort is wasted in this endeavor.

Telework Jobs

Many employers use telework, or telecommuting, employees. These individuals do most of the work for the company from the comfort of their home, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These jobs may be open jobs with the company, but most come from internal positions. The existing employee may have needed to work from home due to health reasons or other issues, and the arrangement stuck.

Other companies only employ or contract with remote operators. Lists of these companies exist on job boards such as WAHM: the Online Magazine for Work-at-Home Moms. Individuals can apply to these companies by filling out an online application, taking tests for the open positions and fulfilling whatever other requirements the position requests.

Other Types of Work-at-Home Opportunities

Other work-at-home opportunities include sales positions, such as Avon and Amway. Although these positions do require a minimal amount of leaving the home to call on customers, most work can be done from home on the phone or over the Internet.

Websites can also be set up to sell all kinds of products including reports, clothing, gifts and household goods. Often a person can interact with a parent website to resell the products, which avoids the need for inventory. Companies such as Specialty Merchandise Corp. (SMC) sell products to resellers who sell over the Internet, through home parties or at flea markets.

How to Avoid Scams

Signs of scams for work-at-home jobs or opportunities often include words like earn thousands per week, get paid $500 per week working two to three hours per day and other outrageous claims. Legitimate work from home jobs and opportunities exist, but one will not become rich overnight performing them.

According to AARP, some of the known scams to avoid are:

  • Stuffing envelopes -- These schemes promise from $1 to as much as $10 for easy work stuffing envelopes. An upfront fee of about $25 is requested for instructions and materials. Once the money is paid, the instructions then are sent on a piece of paper telling the person how to place their own envelope stuffing ads and request the amount for instructions from other people.
  • Assembling crafts -- These schemes advise one to purchase a kit to make products for the company and guarantees the company will purchase the finished product for an agreed upon price as long as the product is up to quality standards. The finished product never meets quality standards, and so the consumer is stuck with a worthless kit, unable to recover his or her money.
  • Check or money order forwarding -- In this scheme the consumer is told they will be paid upfront with a check or money order, but they must first cash it in their bank and send the money to another party for supplies they need to do the job. The check or money order is counterfeit, and the consumer is held responsible for the entire amount. Not only is there no job with this one, but criminal charges may be pressed against the innocent consumer.
  • Rebate processing -- Consumers send a small fee for instructions on how to process rebate forms. Like the envelope stuffing, the instructions turn out to be a one-page paper advising the person to run similar ads on the Internet and in newspapers for rebate processors.
  • Multi-level marketing -- While there are legitimate multi-level marketing companies, the legitimate ones sell a product. With the frauds, there is no real product to sell so eventually the pyramid collapses, and all but the few that started it lose the invested money.
  • Turn a home computer into a cash machine -- This scheme offers a list of legitimate work-at-home companies for a fee. Once the money is paid, the information received is a worthless list of sites that do not offer work-at-home employment.
  • Processing insurance medical claims -- This scheme sells expensive software programs that teach claims processing. After graduating from the course, there is no job waiting, and the consumer is out the money spent on the software.

Related articles

Search the Web

We are not lawyers or legal professionals, nor are we financial counselors or professionals. The content of this Web site is intended to provide general information and advice. Prior to making any legal or financial decision, you should consult a licensed professional. For more information see Terms of Service/Usage Agreement.
Home   |   About   |   Media Comments   |   Legal & Privacy Policy   |   Tell a friend   |   Contact
Copyright © 2012 Info.com – All Rights Reserved.