Home Based Business Scams

”2 individuals with cash in hand and computer at their side" Photo by szefei - yayimages.com

As the name implies, work from home is a scenario where the worker is not present physically at their place of work. Instead of being office-bound, they are connected through the internet on their computer or mobile device at home or on the road.

Many of us have checked into working at home at one time or another. It seems to be a quick and easy way to make some additional cash. Well, maybe not always quick, but there are ways that you can benefit if you find the right and legitimate companies that will work with you. And yes! These companies do exist, but you must be able to differentiate from those that will pay you for the work that you do and the ones that just want your money and give you nothing in return. These are the sammers and unfortunately, they exist also.

How Fraudulent Work at Home Schemes Work

Let us look at an example of how this strategy works practically. An individual may receive an enticing offer that may seem simply too good to turn down. Such a tantalizing prospect to make quick money (red flag #1) is generally bait as part of an elaborate scam. Proposals typically include starting a lucrative business from the comfort of your home.

There is a cost attached to such fascinating offers though. Those who orchestrate such a scam (which the victim may not be aware of until later, unfortunately) require an advanced fee (red flag #2) at the onset. Gradually, scammers will extort more money from their victims, including avoiding payment for the work completed, requesting victims to make purchases which are downright inane and meaningless. (red flag #3) Also, they may encourage their victims to invite their friends and family to the scheme as well. All of the above is usually accomplished without sending payment to victims of the scam.

How to Protect Yourself

Next, we will share a few words of wisdom on how to dodge a scam that involves home based tasks.

Let Common Sense Prevail

It may seem preposterous to even imagine a scenario where an individual(s) may be coaxed into willingly working from home without the obligatory assurances. Doing considerable work without payment seems like an outlandish idea in theory. However, there are practical cases of individuals being seduced into schemes of this nature, only to learn later that they were sitting ducks.

In any situation involving work from home offers, evaluation is imperative. Common sense should overcome greed or eagerness. A logical perspective is required. An offer that is too good to be true is exactly that in the vast majority of cases. Recipients of such overtures should consider what the other party stands to make from the work they are proposing.

Also, another relevant query is why minimal work has such handsome rewards. For instance, any job that is advertised in search engines as legitimate may actually be a fallacy. It is important not to fall face first into the trap set by scammers.

Take Emotion out of the Equation

Another useful tip is to not let excitement or the desire to make easy money take control. Simply put, it is vital that that maturity is the order of the day. Scammers regularly target unsuspecting victims by toying with their emotions. For instance, if the fraudster has done his research, he would be aware of his victim’s state of affairs, which may make them ripe for a con. Individuals in dire straits would be easier to mislead since they are more likely to make irrational and untenable decisions in pursuit of instantaneous cash.

Job hunting can be an arduous task and making money is not a facile exercise either. Hence, if faced with an offer that involves a stay at home opportunity, individuals shouldn’t jump at the chance and grab it with both hands. On the contrary, they should make a sensible decision.

Research is Vital

Doing your homework is another way to avert any scam that entails home oriented work. Accountants often apply the prudence concept, which states that when in doubt, you should assume the worst. The same rule must be applied when an unbelievable home based circumstance arises.

Clarity is also essential. The research you do must be objective and even if it appears genuine, you must never invest in an opportunity which includes one way transactions. A conscientious search must be conducted while it is also advised that the person responsible must be met in person as opposed to being constantly engaged online. A virtual presence mitigates trust whereas a physical one can build trust.

Individuals may look at reviews and social media of the company or person making the offer. A useful tip is to insert the name of the business in a search engine and then write scam with it. If the proposal is a scam, red flags will crop up in the search results.

Knowledge is Power

While scammers who promote work at home schemes may devise new ways to tempt innocuous individuals, the broad theme remains consistent, with minor alterations. Therefore, research can assist individuals in knowing what and who to trust and if they should proceed or evade the opportunity.

In principle, we can mention the types of chances provided to victims. There are certain offers that may be legitimate while there are others which you should most definitely avoid. For instance, pyramid or Ponzi schemes have been a popular tactic used by scammers in the past. These should be avoided like the plague.

Furthermore, multilevel marketing and direct sales schemes can be dubious as well. All-purpose business startup tools and especially any opening that involves cashing checks or bank transfers should be bypassed as well.

Product reselling schemes, home assembly opportunities, telecommunication directories and stock trading systems are other popular examples of home based scams that are purported by scammers. The exhaustive list is rounded by lengthy online surveys and mystery shopping endeavors.

Moreover, call center and data entry jobs are regular features on such lists. However, given their prevalence, some are authentic job opportunities which is why individuals must observe it carefully. Lastly, an emerging technique in the landscape of work from home scams is to construct dedicated websites for such scams which redirect viewers to related offers, which are almost always fraudulent in nature.

Save Your Money

At no point should you send money online to any individual that is a stranger or is someone you don’t know particularly well or worse, have never met! In any pragmatic situation, you should be paid to work and not charged. This is why if faced with such a dilemma, never go through with a wire transfer or write a check to someone who makes you a lucrative offer to work within the confines of your household. It is most likely a scam.

Any venture that promotes itself as a legitimate business model and entices individuals to become a part of the initiative is any but. They begin by seeking a certain amount and give nonsensical reasons for charging this amount. They may cite the need for capital since the enterprise has recently set the ball rolling, for instance. Regardless of the case, individuals should be wary of such schemes and avoid the transmission of money at all costs, no matter how appealing the offer is.

In hindsight, it is not an intricate task to understand that warning signs are always there when it comes to work from home fraud. Additionally, the aforementioned tips must be adhered to when they happen.

So Where are the Legitimate Ones?

Yes, there are work at home jobs that will bring you some cash. Maybe not enough to quit your daytime job or pay your mortgage, but definitely at least a few hundred more per week.

Mystery Shopping

There are legitimate mystery shopping organizations. Some examples would be: Going to a bank posing as a customer and asking questions about checking or savings accounts, loans or credit cards. Then fill out an evaluation form regarding how the bank representatives responded. Athpower is one of those mystery shop companies that will pay you for your visits to these banks or retail stores.


We all have heard about Uber and other rideshare companies that will pay you to drive people to their destinations, but there are also food delivery jobs where you will be paid as well. Uber Eats is one of them. Others are GrubHub and Dash.

Offer Your Expertise

If you are good at writing articles, try one of the freelance websites to offer your services. Just Google freelance writing jobs.


Yes, there is fraud regarding work at home jobs, or should we say work at home schemes. With that said, there are also legitimate work at home jobs. Some have been mentioned here, so you can make extra money working from home, but heed to the warnings mentioned here so that you know you will not be scammed.

Posted On September 28, 2018