Work-from-home opportunities? They’re often too good to be true.
The prospect of a work-from-home job or business may be appealing to you right about now, whether you’ve been laid off due to Covid-19 or simply want to work mask-free and in your pjs.
Scrutinize work-from-home opportunities carefully, though, as WFH scams are on the uptick. Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission that will help you avoid getting tricked by scammers.
1. Know the lingo. “Want to be your own boss? Earn thousands of dollars a month from home?” Ads containing those words should trigger your extreme skepticism.
2. Recognize common scams. Be suspicious of any WFH “job” that entails starting your own Internet business, envelope stuffing, assembly or craft work, rebate processing, medical billing, or mystery shopping.
3. Don’t pay to get a job. Scammers may say they’ve got a job waiting if you just pay a fee for certification, training, equipment, or supplies. But, after you pay, the job doesn’t materialize.
4. Ask questions. To determine whether a WFH program is legitimate, get answers from your potential employer to questions like these:
• What tasks will I have to perform? Are any other steps involved?
• Will I be paid a salary, or will I be paid on commission?
• Who will pay me?
• When will I get my first paycheck?
5. Avoid fake job ads. Some scammers pay to have their ads or scam websites appear at the top of your searches. Other scammers pretend to be affiliated with well-known companies or even the government.
6. Do your homework. Research a potential employer by searching online for a company’s name, email address, and phone number. You can also check out a company with your local consumer protection agency, the Better Business Bureau, or your state Attorney General. You might find complaints by others who’ve been scammed and find out more about the scammer’s tricks.
7. Get legit. To find legitimate job listings, try visiting sites like your state’s Career OneStop.