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How to Avoid Work from Home Scams

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You may be familiar with the ads: easy money (or big paychecks), no experience, one hour a day, work from home. Sound too good to be true? It probably is. In fact, for every legitimate work from home opportunity, there are 70 work from home scams that will rob you of your money. While this type of work can be very appealing, it’s up to individuals to do their homework to determine if the opportunity is legitimate.

You can begin by viewing every opportunity with some degree of skepticism and then conduct your own due diligence. The first critical rule-of-thumb is to avoid any job or opportunity that requires an upfront fee to join or purchase materials. Legitimate companies do not charge job applicants. Then:

  • Look for a physical location and contact information. If none are available, move on.
  • Look it up on social media. If they don’t have any, move on.
  • Do a search for online reviews. Enter the name of the company or opportunity along with the word “scam” or “review.”

While there are many variations of work from home scams, they tend to follow a few themes. Some should be avoided, while others should be met with plenty of healthy skepticism.

Always avoid Investigate very closely
Pyramid schemes Multi-level marketing
Check cashing or wiring money Online business start-up kits
Home assembly/envelope stuffing Product reseller
Link posting jobs Mystery shopping
Processing claims Data entry/call center
Any opportunity requiring a payment Taking online surveys
Any opportunity promising “get rich quick”  

You should also avoid any opportunities offered through search engine ads or unsolicited emails.

There are plenty of work from home opportunities available through traditional channels, such as job boards, job search engines, and newspapers. You can check the company’s website to see if it’s legitimate and learn more about the position.

You can also check out websites for freelance jobs, such as FlexJobs, Upwork, Working Solutions, and Rat Race Rebellion.

Above all else, remember: if it sounds to good to be true, it is.


More About Scams on our Banking and Insurance Services Blog

Work from home scams are insidious, but unfortunately they’re far from the only type of destructive financial ploy online. Alpine Bank has plenty more tips on avoiding online fraud schemes. Check out this article on common types on internet fraud, and visit our main site if you’re interested in using us for your insurance or banking needs.

About This Author


Ross Bentzler

Ross Bentzler is Executive VP and Information Security Officer for Alpine Bank. Ross has worked in the information technology field for two decades, focusing on information security for 13 years.

More about Ross Bentzler

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