There are thousands of work at home (WAH) jobs out there, ranging from party plan to transcription to data entry to freelance writing or photography and so on. Many of them seem really great and they offer lots of great incentives (including money) and look extremely appealing to the parent looking at working from home so they can be close to their kids and have flexibility. Unfortunately there is an unsavoury edge to some of these WAH jobs and many unsuspecting applicants get sucked into scams that cannot only be damaging financially, but emotionally and mentally as well. It pays to do your research before applying for any WAH job. We’ve done some of this research already and would like to share our tips with you.
Most of the information we gathered on WAH scams was from the website www.scamwatch.gov.au – they have a great guide on what to look for and also have a list of current Work at Home scams on their database.
Here are some things to consider before joining any company offering you Work at Home employment:
Go with your gut instinct
Don’t rush into anything, have a look at what the company is offering and if your gut is telling you there’s something not right about it, then do further research!
“Google” it, Facebook it, see if you can find anyone that works for the company that can tell you about it. Most companies offering WAH employment have a website, so if there is not one, then that is suspicious.
Check out the company website
It should display an ABN (if in Australia) or some other type of licensing, have legitimate phone numbers (and a business address is nice too) and preferably a contact person for you to speak to. if it doesn’t then alarm bells should ring in your head! Ring the company phone number if there’s one listed to see if it’s legitimate.
Careful with your money
Be extremely cautious about paying any money up-front. Many party plan companies these days will request a fee for a starter kit – if this is the case, make sure the company you are planning on joining is completely “fair dinkum” and has a good reputation before handing over money. Most of the time these starter kits will only cost a few hundred dollars. If a company you have never heard of before is asking you to pay thousands of dollars to join them, then you really need to think twice.
Be careful of jobs being offered to you from unrecognisable sources, such as email, Facebook, Twitter or similar social networks – these usually aren’t the real deal. Remember, if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is.
Avoid MLM and Pyramid Schemes
There are many WAH jobs being offered in newspapers, magazines and online, which promise fast cash, holidays, cars and riches, all for doing next to nothing. These are usually MLM (Multilevel Marketing) or Pyramid Schemes and should be avoided. Basically the boss or managers of these companies rake in the cash while the lower level workers do all the work and hours and don’t really earn much at all.
Know what the job actually entails
Beware of companies who advertise jobs, but don’t tell you exactly what the job entails or what you will earn. They promise the world but will not even tell you what the company does, and believe me, they can be very convincing. I almost fell into one but got cold feet because I went with my gut instinct! To this day, I still have no idea what my job would have been!
Don’t give away your time
Don’t work for free on a promise you’ll get paid after a trial period.
Ask alot of questions
Clarify everything about the job before signing up or accepting employment. Know exactly what your role will be, the pay conditions, your rights – EVERYTHING!! Ask as many questions as you can think of so there’s no surprises.
Hopefully we have given you some food for thought in regards to WAH scams. It’s a battlefield but there are some good legitimate businesses out there too – you just have to be choosy. Always check with scam websites before signing up for anything, some (besides Scamwatch) you can check include:
Do you have any tips on how to avoid WAH scams, or have you been involved in one yourself?
- Working from Home
- Working from Home