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How to avoid scams

Work from home scams can be upsetting

Working from home is always going to be popular. It avoids the commute, while helping you to take greater control of your job and spend more time with your family. But with the increase in redundancies that has come with the economic crash, the desire to find a job working from home has become even greater.

Unfortunately, as people become increasingly desperate for income, there is a greater chance of them ignoring the warning signs of a work from home scam. We’ve looked into the top three areas that you need to pay close attention to to lower the likelihood of falling victim to a scam...

Contact information - it’s all in the details

Contact details are one of the first things to look out for when you find a tempting work from home job offer. The details a company chooses to show can give you a great deal of insight into their validity. Legitimate companies will want to offer you as many contact options as possible for  the simple reason that they want to hear from possible clients. Insist on a landline number and a genuine street address if you want to lower your chances of being scammed; avoid P.O Box or accommodation addresses.

Leave well alone if a website or job advert has no contact details on it at all. Scammers are only after your money and want to give as little chance as possible of tracking them down once they’ve fleeced you.

Show me the money

Money is probably one of the main reasons why you want to work from home. You need a job and there appear to be a range of easy ways of making it while sat at home. Well there are, but there are at least as many scams out there trying to take your money.

One of the most common ways of getting fraudulently acquiring cash from homeworkers is to ask for a payment up front. You will often find adverts demanding upfront payment for things like administration, processing, service, transfer, or referral fees before you’ve even learnt anything concrete about the position on offer. Scratch these ‘jobs’ off as scams and ignore them.

A legitimate firm might sometimes ask you to pay a deposit for a compatible computer or a headset after they have shared more information about the job with you. Even in this situation, ask for all the details on refund policies in writing to double check you’re safe. If the company refuses to do this, walk away.

Ask questions

Finally, when it comes to spotting working from home scams, you can really help reduce your chances of falling victim to such schemes by simply asking questions. Even with a position you think is genuine, it’s highly likely that you’ll want to know as much as possible about the job before you start, so you really have nothing to lose by grilling the company involved.

A legitimate employer should welcome the chance to talk about their business. But firms that shy away from upfront queries could be trying to hide from the false promises on their advert or website and aren’t the kind of people you want to be working for. To sound them out, try asking about what your daily tasks will be, whether you will be paid on commission or salary or whether or not there are any additional costs involved on your part. If they’re vague about the answers they give, think twice about moving any further with this particular company.

If you are really dubious about a work from home job, then asking to speak to someone else currently employed by the company can help you find out if they are being honest about what they do. In fact, you might even want to look into a face-to-face meeting with more than one employee, just to check you aren’t being fobbed off.

And of course, remember that while home working can provide some fabulous opportunities, you are not going to become a millionaire overnight! If anything sounds too good to be true, sniff around, ask questions, meet employees and find out if this really is your dream homeworking job or a work from home scam.


Getting to grips with some of the most common work from home scams will help you stay safe. But if you have fallen victim to a fraudster, then be sure to read through out advice on what to do next.

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