Working from home provides convenience and flexibility. Internet searches provide hundreds of results, but consumers need to be extra cautious when considering a work-from-home position. BBB of Central New England has recently seen a spike in work-from-home inquiries from local consumers and is warning consumers to beware of offers that sound too good to be true.
Avoid the hassle of getting caught up in a scam and consider BBB tips on your search or if you receive an unsolicited offer.
Do Thorough Research. Get as much information about the job listing and the business as possible. Check out the business at bbb.org. Ask the employer for references of employees who are already working and ask them about their experience. If the business will not provide references, walk away from the job. Search online for the business’ name and “scam” to see if anything comes up. The business should also be transparent about where they are physically located and other contact information.
Avoid “Get Rich Quick” Offers. Be cautious about jobs that provide a large salary with little work. Do not take any offers that claim you will become rich quickly. Working at home requires the same work ethic and skills as any other job. Avoid jobs that disregard if you have no prior experience in the specific field.
Keep Your Money. Be on the lookout for offers that require you to spend upfront fees to work for their business. Real employers do not charge. Avoid offers involving you to pay a fee for start-up kits. Be wary with your personal bank account information and never let a business use your personal account to do their job. If a business sends you a check prior to starting the job for supplies, software, etc., make sure the check clears before you use the funds. If someone wants you to make an advance payment to “get in” on the ground floor of a new business opportunity – especially if it’s a big investment, or you don’t have much information about the deal – this is a big red flag. Don’t do it. “Advance fee scams” are very common and they come in many varieties.
Ask Questions. Ask the employer exactly what tasks you will be responsible for and what you will be doing. Ask the employer how you will be paid, how often you will be paid, when you will receive your first check, and how much the check will be.
Check Legal Requirements. Work involving medical billing often requires a specific license. Check with your state’s Attorney General; some work is restricted and cannot be done from the home.
Take your time. If somebody tries to convince you that this is a “limited time” offer and you have to act now, just tell them to forget it. Ignore anybody who pushes you to agree. High pressure is a big sign that something’s wrong.