Detecting Work-At-Home Scams
When you’re looking to bring in extra money or start a brand new career, a work-at-home job opportunity can sound attractive. There’s no commute, no special attire required and the hours can offer lots of flexibility.
While many work-at-home jobs are legitimate, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns some of them aren’t what they appear. No matter what the opportunity, do your homework before you sign up for any work-at-home scams, and especially before you pay any start-up or membership fees.
Under the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule, job providers must give a disclosure document of key information regarding the job, which you can use to fact check. This document addresses any legal actions against the company, cancellation and refund policies, and earnings claims.
You should also ask questions, including:
- What tasks will I have to perform?
- Will I be paid a salary or commission?
- What is the basis for claims about likely earnings? (Note that if business opportunity providers make an earnings claim, they must provide an earnings claim statement with specifics. )
- Who will pay me and when will I get my first paycheck?
- What is the total cost of this work-at-home program, including supplies, equipment and any membership fees?
The FTC’s Work-at-Home Businesses consumer information page can help you further determine whether a work-at-home program is legitimate and right for you.