People searching for work-at-home jobs can find themselves bombarded with ads and emails offering an all-in-one home business kit or opportunity. It might be described as a software package or a turnkey business or even just a book or list of opportunities to work from home. Beware!
Consider the Source
Of course, there are legitimate books, directories and software about starting an online business, but look for them at reputable software dealers, booksellers or libraries--not in online ads or emails.
But there are also plenty of free resources on the subject (see this free list of more than 200 work at home companies). So think carefully what is worth paying for. The directories sold only through websites or email are very likely work-at-home scams. Often you see them advertised on Google Ads on websites and in search results. Typically they make big promises without really saying what they have to offer.
What to Look Out For
Also falling under this category of potential scams are "guaranteed money-making systems," business start-up kits and stock-picking software. E-commerce scams offer you a web-based business in which you don't even have to build a website. You’re the middleman who just collects a fee--not likely! Courses and certifications that will allow you to start a business or get a home-based job also need to be carefully examined to see if they are actually worthwhile investments.
Another online business that is potentially a scam is medical billing. People do work from home in medical billing, but they have experience and must build their home businesses. Lists of physicians who are looking for medical billing services are worthless. Read more about medical billing scams.
Be very wary about sending away for any of the above-mentioned products because they may not have value but you also have to think about whether you will actually get the item that you paid for.
If the website promoting the product has no usable contact (i.e. a working phone or physical address), how will you contact it if your product doesn't arrive?
Starting a home business takes hard work and a lot of research. Anything that you pay for, especially when buying it online, you will need to do careful research while keeping in mind the telltale signs of a work-at-home scam. And ask yourself these questions:
- Is it too easy? Does the pay off seem especially lucrative? Turn around the old saying 'you get what you pay for.'
- Does it requires payment? This is always a potential sign of a scam. Think about both the value of what you might be getting and the security of your payment method.