Work from home scams are unfortunately quite common, and they cause problems in multiple ways. Sorting through scams can take valuable time away when you’re trying to find legitimate paying gigs. Work-at-home scams can also cast a shadow over work at home activities by making some people think all home-based business opportunities are a scam. Here is a list of the most common work at home scams so you can avoid them and get on with your search for work that actually pays.
Medical Billing Scams
Medical billing scams work by having potential workers pay for a kit that sets them up as a home medical billing office. The scam comes in when the person tries to actually get hospitals or doctors offices to pay them for this service, because medical billing is done in-house by full-time employees with related degrees at those places. Essentially, people buying the kit are scammed because there isn’t actually a market for this kind of work. The scammers don’t take refunds once you find out it wasn’t a real opportunity, either.
Craft Assembly Jobs
Craft assembly scams work by selling kits for people to make crafts. The idea is that you’ll make the crafts, send them in, and the company will pay you for all of the completed crafts. In reality, they will tell you the crafts aren’t up to their standards and refuse to pay. Meanwhile, they’re making more money selling craft kits to other people who will waste time making crafts that they won’t ever get money for.
Envelope Stuffing and Email Processing
Envelope stuffing scams and email processing scams turn you into a scammer along with the original company. They promise big bucks for stuffing envelopes or processing emails once you pay their fee to participate. But what you’ll actually end up doing is sending out unsolicited letters or emails trying to convince other people to join the envelope stuffing business or email processing business. You only make money if those people join in the scam and send you money to get the information you already paid someone else for.
MLM schemes, also known as multi-level marketing schemes, are sometimes legit and sometimes scams. In general, these companies work by getting workers to sell their product and sign new people up as salespeople. If you’re selling something you actually like- jewelry, makeup, or home products, for example- then the discounts you get and the sales you make to friends who also use those things can net you a little cash. But it likely won’t be much money, and you’ll probably end up noticing a change in your friendships when you start treating them like someone to sell things to instead of a friend. The scammy part of MLMs comes in when the company promises huge financial gains. These kinds of gains are based on roping others into your personal sales network and getting commissions from their sales. But if you can’t get a lot of people below you, or if everyone below you isn’t making much money, you’ll end up spending a lot of time and effort on a losing proposition. MLMs also tend to require money upfront to join- and the chances of making that money back are low.
Name and Address Compiling
Companies that use name and address compiling scams put out ads saying they will pay you to collect addresses and names. They give you a classified ad (after you pay them a setup fee, of course) and then you’re supposed to send them any names and addresses of people who respond. In many cases, you won’t get enough responses to pay back the setup fee and the cost of the classified ad.