Scam Watch: Work at Home Opportunities

June 03, 2010
In this slowly improving economy, a lot of us are looking for ways to earn and save extra cash.  Many people who’ve never thought of working from home or acting as their own boss are now seriously considering that route as a last resort.  We’ve all heard the stories about self-made millionaires who started from scratch, but if money is tight, it’s wise to exercise caution before investing into any get-rich- quick scheme.

Beware of any job requiring an upfront fee for information or supplies as you may not receive what you paid for.  Check with your BBB for reports on businesses you are considering working with and keep in mind that the lack of a report or complaints is not always a good indication.  Many times work-at-home companies attempt to stay a step ahead and change their information frequently, making it difficult to maintain updated information about those companies.  If you’ve checked on a company’s report with BBB and decide to work for them, make sure you will be compensated fairly for the work you’ll be performing and get the wage and benefits offer in writing.  Keep in mind that a legitimate company will want to check your references and work history prior to hiring you; if you’re able to bypass filling out an application and interview process, reconsider.  

The United States Postal Inspectors regularly investigate fraudulent schemes and you risk investigation and possible prosecution by postal or other law enforcement agencies if you knowingly become involved with an illegal work-at-home scheme. If you have been recruited via a work-at-home opportunity to receive transfers and forward money overseas or if you have experienced unauthorized funds transfers from your bank accounts, notify the IC3.  This partnership organization between the FBI, National White Collar Crime Center, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance serves as a venue to report criminal cyber complaints.