Guest post by Kristy Ramirez
Many people are looking for jobs online that they are able to do from home. These people range from retirees who wish to supplement their retirement income, to mothers who want to remain home as their children are growing up, rather than place them in childcare among relative strangers, so they themselves can go back to work. Working from home gives flexibility and allows you to save on commuting costs to and from a workplace.
While many do find a niche they can fill and successfully work from home during hours that suit their lifestyle, there are many others who fall by the wayside, totally demoralized and with less money in the bank compared to when they started. The first rule to successfully working from home is to find something that you can do well and that you know something about. It could be a long time hobby, a skill picked up from many years of work, or simply something that has always interested you. If you stick to what you know best there is less chance of you falling prey to a scammer who just wants you to make money for them.
If is your intention to find a job online where you can successfully work from home, don’t despair, they are out there, but don’t be too gullible either. To help you to understand what not to do, you might find the following information interesting:
1. Too Easy to Get.
If an offer to work online from home just falls into your lap beware right from the start. The offer might come in the post or in an email but if it tells you that you have a job without knowing anything about you treat it very cautiously. Get rich quick schemes are constantly looking for more gullible people and when you answer such an offer you will usually be asked to send a sum of money and that is usually the last time you will hear from them.
2. Asking for Cash.
When any online business requests you to pay upfront for whatever purpose such as; materials, computer software, or tools of any kind, back off quickly. It is usually a sales campaign to sell the software, tools or material and nothing else. Once you have purchased the items you will be stuck with them unless you sell them to somebody else therefore perpetuating the con. A genuine job will not ask you to purchase anything out of your own pocket. If it is selling you should be able to sell from a warehouse and you receive a commission for your services.
3. Offers of Training.
There are many online jobs that sound quite legitimate but require you to undergo a training course in the first instance. You will always be asked to pay an amount of money before you can start the course. The course will probably be legitimate but the training will consist of teaching you how to sell the same course to other unsuspecting individuals. The course will basically be about nothing, only something you will be asked to sell to others, and you will receive remuneration for your efforts.
4. Typing Jobs.
These particular scams promise the world. All the typing you can do, all you have to do is register. The cost of registering your interest can be anything from $250 to $25. Often it starts at $250 dollars but as you try to leave the site it offers you ‘this day only discounts of just $25.’ The registration usually covers the cost of software you will need to enable you to do the necessary work. You will get some work but when the time comes to pay, you will be told your work contained typing errors and was not up to standard and no pay will be forthcoming.
5. Stuffing Envelopes.
This scam follows the same procedure as the others. You will have to hand over a processing fee which pays for your ‘starter kit.’ The kit will arrive but it will only contain more advertising, that same advertising that you answered to get the ‘job.’ You only get paid if some other person answered one of your letters as you did and took up the same offer by paying his or her processing fee.
This job offer is not just verging on the illegal it is right in there. You will be asked to reship products that are sent to you at your address, to the address of a buyer who you will be informed of. The trouble is that the products you will be forwarding will be stolen goods and you are acting as a break between the thief and the buyer. You are committing the crime of aiding and abetting for which you could go to jail, and there will be no provable link between you and the thief. To make matters worse you will be paid by check for your trouble and the amount will be overpaid. Almost immediately you will be asked to pay back the overpayment. Once you do this the original check will bounce and you finish up out of pocket.
7. Home Assembly Work.
This work from home scheme sounds good and is quite convincing. You will be asked to forward quite a large sum of money to a ‘manufacturer’ for a considerable amount of goods that need assembling, often children’s dolls, sometimes electronic devices. It will be quite time consuming but after a while you will have all the work assembled and you send them back. The next thing you will hear will be that your work was considered to be unsatisfactory and no money for your labor will be forthcoming.
You will notice that there is a similar pattern practiced by all these different fraudsters preying on the vulnerable whose only wish is to earn a little extra money from home. You will avoid being sucked into these traps if you are wary of the following warning signs:
- Any confusing payment structure.
- Being asked for your personal details such as your bank account number or which bank you deal with.
- The guarantee of success. Hard work succeeds and only you can guarantee that.
- Huge financial rewards for little work. This is just not plausible.
- No potential employer should ever ask you to pay anything upfront because you should be expected to make money for him.
- Any overseas business that does not have a contact number or registered address.
- Any job offer that ‘falls into your lap.’
Kristy Ramirez is a freelance personal finance writer working from home. Before you leave the corporate cubicle and move to working for yourself from home, make sure you have a plan for your superannuation and income protection insurance.