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Examples of work from home scams.

Many people are looking to increase their income by working from home. Anyone who is exploring these opportunities needs to do their due diligence to avoid the scams out there. Unfortunately there are many work from home or “flex job” companies who are looking to take advantage of people. There are often work from home employment opportunities that ask for substantial up front fees, that are involved in illegal businesses, or that just run scams that are targeting many hard working individuals.

Household income for many Americans has been “flattish” or it has only increased slightly over the last several years. So many honest, hard-working people are looking to pick up extra jobs, but when they do this, they need to be aware of the fraudulent companies out there. We have several noted below, but there may be others. It is always strongly recommended to read the fine print of any agreement and use other resources to look for scams. People can check with the Better Business bureau, research forums, and check with their state attorney general.

If someone signs up for an illegitimate work from home job, not only may the person not receive any money, but there are also some that are more than likely illegal. It is also better to tread carefully. Unfortunately there are illegitimate companies and individuals that are just flat out looking to rip people off. Any job, especially those that allow the flexibility to work from home, are challenging to find. If it sounds too good to be true, then that is a “red flag” and should be looked at skeptically.

Examples of illegal potions or scams

Some of the scams will start by asking a person to call a phone number for information on the job, and it may be a 1-900 number. In today's day and age, when almost everything can be put online, any company asking a potential employee to call a toll number should be questioned.

After calling the number, the company may ask the applicant to pay up front costs for more information on the work from home job. Or they may ask for your credit car or personal information over the phone. These type of jobs are almost always illegitimate work from home opportunities presented by companies often looking to steal a person's identity if not even worse.




Reshipping or package processing jobs are a work from home scam, and this particular one tends to be illegal. While each company that is “hiring” for these positions may have their own spin on it, in general it will involve a task such as receiving a package from a person or businesses and then reshipping it to a new address. It is typically sent oversees.

The job may sound enticing as not only will it pay a salary, but the employer will also pay for the postage cost. The person may think all they need to do is the legwork in receiving the package and then forwarding it on. However there is a catch to this.

Normally the reshipping job involves stolen merchandise or even worse, things like illegal prescription drugs. Or maybe the package was paid for using a stolen credit card. It does not really matter, as in almost all instances these reshipping work from home jobs are not only scams, but they are illegal and the employees can actually go to jail.

An ad such as “Make X dollars per day just by using your computer” may sound enticing, but it is almost always a lie. Same thing goes for envelope stuffing jobs and the like. Just surfing the internet or creating a website will not result in a person easily making tens, hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. Anything that sounds too good to be true is most likely a scam.

Anyone offered a multi-level marketing job opportunity needs to take a hard look at them. Contact the BBB or state regulators for information on them. Many of the multi-level marketing work at home jobs may be scams. They almost always ask for membership fees and want people to pay money up front to buy marketing materials. They often ask for other expenses to be paid.

Many of the MLM jobs are in fact pyramid type schemes. Anyone that does not know what this is should research some of the financial scams in recent memory, such as the infamous Bernie Madoff. A  multi-level marketing scam basically takes money from one person and gives to another, and that money is then used to pay off another individual. The scam goes on until no one else joins, and then the entire pyramid falls apart. The end result is many people lose a substantial amount of money from these work at home MLM jobs. Read more on how to identify a MLM scam.





Another scam is often any type of assembly type job, data entry or even some envelope stuffing jobs. They tend to be illegitimate if they ask for money to be spent up front. If the company says you can work from home but you need to buy equipment or products first, this will be risky and is a red flag. Often the employer will take the money from the consumer, promise them they can make it back, and then the employee never sees a dime back. This is another fairly common scam.

Resources to confirm if a job is a scam

The above list are just a few examples of the more common work from home scam jobs. But the fact is there are many more, and these companies are always coming up with new offerings. If there is ever any question as to an offer, that is telling. It may be worthwhile to follow a first instinct.

There are places to turn to for information or to report an illegal or scam work at home opportunity. Or people can validate a potential opportunity. Call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357. Or contact the Better Business Bureau. Another government agency to turn to for help in verifying or researching a work at home scam is your state Attorney General Office.


By Jon McNamara

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