Work From Home Opportunities Offer Convenience But Aren’t All Created Equal-- BBB Tips to Spot Potential Scams

April 08, 2017

work from homeSearching for jobs online allows you an opportunity to search a variety of job boards, websites, and carefully match postings to your experience and qualifications. Finding a post about a position that offers great pay, flexible hours, low stress and the opportunity to work from home could seem like a perfect opportunity for any job seeker. While there are many legitimate work from home opportunities, this is also a common tactic for scammers. Better Business Bureau of Central New England often gets reports regarding opportunities that never develop to legitimate positions, or end up costing unsuspecting candidates. BBB urges consumers to be aware of opportunities that offer high pay and offers that seem too good to be true.

“Common scams include package forwarding, envelope stuffing, car wrap advertising, or the requirement to purchase special software,” said Nancy B. Cahalen, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central New England. “Victims may find themselves in a bind after agreeing to a position but never receiving payment for their hours. When you are not working with a legitimate company, recourse is difficult.” It is important to be diligent when researching a potential employer. Make sure you have valid contact information, including an address, a clear understanding of the job responsibilities and when and how you will be paid.

BBB has 6 tips to spot red flags of an illegitimate work from home opportunity:

Big bucks for simple tasks. Watch out if they promise to pay you a lot of money for jobs that don’t seem to require much effort or skill. Sound too good to be true? It might be a scam.

Job offers out of nowhere from strangers. If they offer you a job without getting an application from you first, meeting you, or doing an interview, it’s probably a scam. Don’t hand your personal employment information to over too easily (especially your Social Security number!). That could lead to identity theft.

Requests for up-front payments. 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.

They ask you to wire the money. If you wire a payment to somebody, it’s gone forever. Wire transfers of money are a convenient and perfectly legitimate service. But scam artists often ask you to wire payments that they are requesting because they know you won’t be able to get your money back. They may also request you load a prepaid debit card which, similar to wire transfer, the funds cannot be recovered if the card is unloaded by a scammer.

High pressure to do it now. Don’t be in a hurry to accept an unsolicited offer of work, or to make a business investment, particularly if the other party is asking you to spend your money on the deal.

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.