Data Entry Scams

Data entry scams come in many forms, but they all want one thing--your money!

data entry scams
Getty/Andrew Brookes

Trying to tell data entry scams from legit data entry jobs takes careful research and common sense. Common sense tells you that low-skill jobs never pay high wages. And legit data entry salaries are typically low. It follows, then, that data entry jobs promising big money are scams. Careful research will help you ​locate legitimate work-at-home opportunities.

More:  All About Online Data Entry Jobs

Fraudulent data entry schemes are no different from other typical work-at-home scams such as pyramid schemes, bogus classes, fake certifications or payment for resources available for free elsewhere. They may ask for a small fee to "show you are serious." These are all  telltale signs of a work-at-home scam. The hooks of these bogus data entry opportunities fall into a few different categories.

Data Entry Scams May Look Like:

Affiliate Marketing - Sometimes data entry scams are really affiliate marketing business opportunities. Often these are labeled "non-traditional data entry." And while affiliate marketing is a legit home business, what makes these scams are the misleading advertising, promises of big earnings and fees for information available for free. Affiliate marketing is not a quick and easy way to make money. You must build a website, bring in traffic and generate sales. No one can sell you a legit turnkey operation that can do this.

Along these same lines are work-at-home opportunities that require you to post ads to online forums. These opportunities and some affiliate marketing may very well be pyramid schemes because they only or mostly pay based on recruitment of more ad posters.

Classes, Business Kits, Training, Certification, etc. - Often the non-traditional data entry (or really affiliate marketing) "opportunities" are only tutorials about affiliate marketing, which may or may not be helpful.

Other data entry scams may sell classes, training or certification that will supposedly help you get a job or that the company says is required to work for it. While some specialized data entry jobs, like medical or  legal transcription or medical coding, do require special training, most do not. Investigate carefully any training or certification you elect to do.

Transcription Jobs - Transcription is one form of data entry. Data entry scams dressed up to look like transcription jobs will often require paid training or a fee for a list of employers. There could be tests or administrative costs. One scam is to require applicants to take a test (which is not uncommon for legit data entry jobs), but everyone or nearly everyone fails. But for a fee, remedial training will get you a “job.” See Legitimate Transcription Jobs.

Medical Coding and Transcription - Data entry scams that tout medical coding jobs often require that you pay for bogus certification or training. These will also sometimes offer turnkey business opportunities. These are not legit. See Legitimate Medical Transcription Jobs.

Process Rebates Scam - The pitch in these work-at-home scams is that you make money just by filling out online forms; everything you need is provided.

This is your classic bait-and-switch scam. You send $150-$200 or more for a program that will allow you to "process rebates at home." At best, what you get is information that could be had for free elsewhere, about setting up an Internet business. At worst, you are hooked into a work-at-home scam in which you use your money to process rebates but are never reimbursed.