for more articles
Home Based Business Scams - Tips on Avoiding Them
by: Kevin Erickson
|Maybe the reason you're interested in setting up a home business is because you've seen an ad that perked your interest or you were approached by a friend or colleague about a great home business money-making opportunity and those entrepreneurial juices started to flow. Your imagination starts to flow and dreams of quitting your job fill your every thought.
Hello, hey, ok... time to stop dreaming. I hate to burst your bubble or stop your fantasy ride but before you give your boss a piece of your mind there's a few things you need to consider.
First, you need to realize that probably 99% of all home business / work from home offers out there are flat out scams. After all, if it was that easy to pay a few dollars and make thousands, wouldn't everyone be doing it by now and why tell you about it?
Below I've listed and briefly discussed how to recognize and avoid a few of the biggest scams out there.
Location… Location… Location
Check out every offer and assume it's a scam until you have iron-clad proof that it's not. A few things to consider are: Where did you see that work from home offer? If you got it by traditional mail or by email or saw it on a poster taped around a telephone pole, then I can guarantee you right now that it's not a legitimate offer. On the other hand, if you saw the ad in a newspaper, in a jobs magazine or on a jobs website, then it's a little more likely to be legit - but not necessarily.
Will this scam ever end? Well, not until people stop falling for it. This is the most established work-from-home scam of all time and it's been going on for what seems like forever now. How it works is that once you pay your money and sign up to work from home, you are sent a set of envelopes and ads just like the one you responded to. The whole idea is to simply get names of people who are interested in home business ops and get a quick buck. You could make a little money if you mail to the right mailing list but don't count it. Work from home offers like this are simply illegal pyramid schemes. You will not make money putting letters into envelopes - so get over it and move on!
The practice of charging for supplies is hard to pin down to any one scam - it's a common most work-at-home scams work (including the envelope stuffing scam mentioned above). You'll be asked to make a minimal "investment" for whatever materials will be needed to do the work and then you'll receive a collection of very shoddy materials that are worth a fraction of what you paid for them and last but not least you'll soon realize that there was never a market for work anyway.
Don't walk - run… if anyone asks for money upfront. Any company worth it's salt would be willing to deduct any "fees" from your first paycheck. Any company not willing to do that, is in all likely-hood simply out to scam you into giving them some upfront money and then as the saying goes… "leaving dodge" as quickly as possible.
Working for Free
This variation on the scam is common with crafts. You might be asked to work from home making clothes, ornaments or toys. Everything appears to be legitimate - you received materials without paying any money and you're doing the work. Unfortunately for you, when you send the work back, the company will tell you that it didn't meet their "quality standards" and will refuse to pay you. They will then sell what you've provided and move on to the next sucker.
Never do craft type work from home unless you're selling the items yourself. Remember, you don't need to restrict your sales to consumers only… you could also be selling to wholesalers. The bottom line is this, you need to be the one deciding what you make and then collect the money yourself.
Medical Billing, Typing From Home and More
Many work-from-home scams involve persuading you that some industry has more work to do than it can handle and so it has to outsource to people like you, working from home. For example, you might be told that you'll be typing legal documents or entering medical bills into an electronic database. These scams have one thing in common - they all say that all you need is a computer and they go on to explain that all you need to do to make big bucks is to buy some "special software".
The software is package so it appears to be from a completely unrelated company, but don't be fooled - the whole purpose behind this so-called opportunity is to simply sell you the over-priced and worthless software. And of course, once you open and load the software on your computer you will never get your money back because that's how all software guarantees work. Once you break the seal you own it.
Starting your own home based business is a dream that millions of people have and it's a legitimate and worthy endeavor. Unfortunately, the crooks out there know this and they play on these desires and so you need to be very cautious. And remember, starting a home business that involves "working" for another company isn't the best idea even if they offer a completely legitimate opportunity. The reason is because even if they do pay you for your work, you still won't earn anywhere near the income could if you were to start a home-based business where you created your own product or service. So why even bother with these outside companies at all?
About the author:
Kevin Erickson is a contributing writer for Bad Credit Mortgage. This article may be reproduced only in its entirety.