Scambusting: Telecommuting and Home Business ‘Opportunities’

We’re not sure why, but it seems the telecommuting and home-based business world has attracted more than its fair share of scam artists.

Perhaps the problem is because this way of working is so new that people don’t really know what to expect or accept. So, as South American revolutionary Che Guevera put it, “Where there is confusion there is opportunity.” That, and anyone would love to have something for nothing, good pay for an easy job.

But the world doesn’t work like that. Telecommuting jobs and running a home-based business demand the same effort as any other job or business with the added ingredient that you have to be your own boss too.

So how do you spot a scam? Well, have you ever heard of anyone having to pay a company to work? Didn’t think so, it works the other way around. Companies pay you to work.

Same deal when you’re working from home. If a website or mail order offer tries to sell you on a job that requires that you pay them to get it then guess who’s going to make the easy money? Yup, it ain’t you!

For that matter when was the last time you heard of a company hiring people for good pay to do nothing? (Well, okay there are some government jobs like that, but that’s a different issue.) Companies are in business to make money. Making money takes work, so they expect employees to perform. If a company offers you an opportunity that’s easy, requires no work, and is a cash machine then you can be sure it’s a rip off. If it was easy and such a great money-maker everyone would be doing it, now wouldn’t they?

A few other buzz-words and phrases to watch for: no skill required, unlimited income, turnkey opportunity, big money fast—and our favorite—make money while you sleep. Yeah, right. There’s only one profession we know of that involves making money in bed, and sleeping is distinctly not part of the deal.

Don’t call 900 numbers for information, don’t send postage paid envelopes for more information, don’t pay for more information, and don’t buy training materials. Any legitimate company that is looking for good employees pays to find them, pays to recruit them, pays to inform them about the job and company, and pays to train them.

Beyond that, all the caveats that apply to working for a company in an office apply to working for one in your jammies. Check the firm out out, find out how long they’ve been around, how successful they are, what their employees think of them, what their employee turnover rate is. All that and more is available online, and for free in libraries.

Finally, keep this in mind: scammers are experts at pulling your strings. Why do they offer easy jobs for high pay? Because lots of people want a job like that. Why do they offer jobs that require no experience and no expertise? Because lots of desperate people want a way to make money quick with no background or skills.

What happens when people are desperate? They take chances, they ignore their better judgment, they try for the fast buck . . . and they end up losers.

Good pay or a profitable business takes knowledge, experience and hard work. Different people have different skills and different jobs have different requirements. So the job market offers a range of jobs for a range of pay. And there is one you can do from home.

Here a some good places to read up on the ‘ner do wells who are out to hornswaggle your search for fame and fortune:

Federal Trade Commission - Project False Hopes

Ripoff Report

In the end the best advice is that if it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.

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