Work-at-Home Scams

female-freelancer-working-from-home.jpgPhoto by kasto -

Working from the comfort of home can be a dream for many and scammers have been known to take advantage of this fact. They exploit the common desire of earning money without leaving the comforts your home by luring people into their traps by offering a variety of shady work and business models.

Legitimate work-at-home jobs have become part of the mainstream and there is no doubt fraudsters will follow along so that they won’t be left out of this lucrative business. Work at jobs are advertised through newspaper ads, the web, street pole advertising and other mediums, but how do we know which ones are real and which ones are fraudulent?

One must be vigilant of the bait that is used by scammers and how to be able to distinguish between those that are shady and those that are real.

Packaging and Envelope Stuffing

By paying an upfront fee in the name of security deposits, service charges or inventory expenses, a person is asked to stuff envelop or pack some other parcels from his or her home. Most of the time, these “opportunities” are fraudulent.

Scammers usually rip people off by stating some vague payment policies. They mention that the company will only be liable to pay for the services if work will be up to the standards. But no set of standards is clearly given. So, at the end of this work-at-home opportunity, fraudsters get away with: The work done by the victims (packaging and enveloping) and the upfront fee paid by the victims.

Money Transferring and Counterfeit Checks

Counterfeit checks are involved in many types of scams. This same template is also used to con people in work-at-home frauds. There are few common pointers to know about such fishy scams.

You are offered to earn money (in terms of commission) by just wiring the money to someplace else which is sent to you through a check. Scammers might use valid checks in the beginning to gain the trust of victims. Once they establish a wire transferring cycle through the victim’s bank account, they will dispatch a counterfeit check for which you have already wired the money in advance. Banks can often take several days to clear the checks which provide enough time for fraudsters to vanish from the scene.

In any case, you are conned by a counterfeit check scam, it is advised to report it to every platform intended to handle such cases. File your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Postal Inspection Service. Also, lodge a complaint in your respective state or local consumer protection body.

Reshipping Activities

In this type of work-at-home scams, the victims are required to reship the received items and goods in return of a hefty commission. To make their operations legitimate, scammers give a reason that they are using your house as their local supply center.

In this type of work-at-home scam, you are reshipping stolen goods and inadvertently becoming a part of a criminal activity or either you will receive your commission fee in the form of a counterfeit check. Therefore, reshipping works are undesirable even when you are tempted to make money from your home.

Business Start-ups

In this scam, victims are offered with initial supplies, tools and training guides to start a venture from their home. All this stuff supplied by scammers is subpar and of no use, while training material is also available free on the internet.

Preventing Work-at-home Scams

With due diligence, one can easily avoid becoming a victim of these frauds. Always do some prerequisite homework before going into any opportunity offering you to work from home. Moreover, don’t get drifted away by lucrative income packages and commission offered. Keep in mind that low-skill jobs carry out from the comfort of home can’t be highly paid.

Employers Don’t Ask for Money

If you are required to deposit some upfront fee to avail any work opportunity, then consider it as a red flag. Legitimate ventures don’t ask for money from their employees.

Avoid Works Involving Money Transactions

Try to stay away from opportunities where you have to cash checks or wire money. This is the most effective tool used by scammers to rip people off. It’s your right to work from home, but it is also important to be careful when looking for such opportunities.

Some Legitimate and Proven Money Makers

Below are some work at home and other part-time jobs that have not only been proven to be legitimate but also have shown a reasonable income can be made if done on a continuous basis:*

Uber Eats

Most every one of us has heard of Uber - the taxi service that is purchased via an ‘app’ that is placed on your smartphone, but did you know they also provide a service that allows you to deliver food to customers from local establishments?

You use the same app as the drivers do, but there are no passengers to pick up. When someone orders food from say a fast food restaurant, for example, you will get an alert, to to the restaurant, pick up the order and deliver it to the address listed on the app.

Once delivered, Uber pays you a fee but they also offer small bonuses at times and you could also receive a tip as well. Some delivery drivers have stated that they can make $50 or more for delivering food in just a few hours per day.

You can learn more about Uber Eats here.

Be a Content Writer


If you enjoy writing and are able to express yourself well, you might be interested in applying for a content writing job. There are many legitimate services where you can apply and offer your services. Here is one of them:

Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping is a multi-million dollar business. It consists of 'shopping' for a product when you are actually working for the store in order to 'audit' the employee's response to your questions or requests; hence, you are a mystery shopper! Some of the largest companies employee mystery shoppers. Ath Power is one of the known reputable sources that employee mystery shoppers for many well-known organizations.

Other Part-Time Jobs Available

If you have a certain skill, you can definitely offer it through a variety of legitimate web services. Do you love animals? How about being a dog walker? The types of jobs that you can do at home or in your spare time are almost endless. All you have to do is spend a little time searching for them. Googling on the web is a good start, but you can also post your services at your local supermarket or house of worship.

Bottom Line

Go for what you know are legitimate jobs. If any position offered is ‘too good to be true’ or shows any sign of shadiness - Stay away!

Posted On December 26, 2017