Work from home scams: how to identify them
Most individuals are craving for flexible work schedules but learning how to identify work-from-home scams, including those that are not so obvious, is a necessary skill in 2018. Actually, working from home can help you balance family and work, achieve the autonomy that brings peace of mind and make a unique office vibe. In other words, you will not have co-workers or bosses around you. Even more, you will not have to travel from home to the workplace.
Statistics show that around 43% of the American workforce is spending at least one hour working remotely. That is possibly because technology has made telecommuting easier and partly because employers have realized that workers want it. However, with the ever rise of mobile businesses, work from home scams have also become more common. The scams are also in numerous forms such as refund-recovery work, claims processing, wire transfer schemes, envelope stuffing and many other fraudulent offers.
The following are some of the tips that will help you identify ripoffs and focus your energy and time on doing the legitimate jobs you like.
Spotting the red flags
Work-from-home scams are more prevalent. Therefore, identification of the common signs has also become easier. With simple rules, you can root around 90% of all scams. If they are using one of the free emails, it is definitely a scam. And if they prefer doing their interviews through online chat, it is another scam. Do not take a job unless the employer interviewed you though a video conference or phone. When possible, do all interviews in person. Ask the interviewer’s name so that you can research to ensure that they are real.
Ensuring that the job description is legit
Sometimes, the job description will tell you whether the job is exactly what it seems to be. For the legitimate positions, the job description will always include a list of required experience and responsibilities to help you know whether you are interested and qualified. If the job description only features a few bullet points (or a description that sounds like getting the job might be easy and quick), probably it is a scam. A potential employer who does not care about your qualifications is most likely a scammer.
Researching the company
Before you accept any job offer, you have to research on the company. For your research, use the available review sites or check out the company’s website or their social presence. Also, try to contact some people who work for the employer. A company without websites or social media presence is most likely a scam.
If you are invited to a video conference or in-person interview, ask the right questions. Ask about their expectation, and about their money source. If their answers do not make sense, do not take the job. For example, you can ask, “Which is your top revenue stream?” That way, you will get answers and still show interest in the company operations.
Never give money up front
If the company requires you to pay for training, it is certainly a scam. Jobs that require you to pay some money are not real. Any honest employer will be willing to train his/her employees on her dime. You do not have to pay for any training, processing fee or application fee.
Telemarketing Resale Scams
Telemarketing is promotion and sale of goods or services by phoning the potential customers. Telemarketing is important but you have to be aware of the potential telemarketing scams. The most common telemarketing scams involve selling and buying timeshares, sweepstakes and prizes and free trial offers.
Whenever a caller asks you to purchase a prepaid card or to wire money, to visit their website and download software or requests you to keep the phone call secret, you should just hang up. Some other scammers may inform you that you have already won a gift or a prize but you have to pay taxes or fees first. Others may ask for your usernames, passwords, your home address or account numbers and tell you that their offerings are only valid for that particular day.
Actually, you cannot eliminate the risks of telemarketing scams but you can do a few things to minimize them. The following are a few tips to help you identify telemarketing scams.
Minimizing the risk of telemarketing scams
First, research a company before engaging in any business with them. Google the company’s name and look for complaints or negative comments. Query their phone number or street address to ensure that the company really exists. If the company has changed its name severally within the last few years, that could be a bad sign.
Secondly, you have to remain skeptical after getting cold call offers. Telemarketers who contact you with work at home opportunities speak your language and sound like trusted advisors but their goal is to gain your confidence. They might also apply high-pressure sales strategies to get your money within a short period. Avoid cold calls, including those from legitimate telemarketers, by placing your mobile phone and home phone number on National Do Not Call Registry.
Avoid money order requests or cash on delivery (COD). Most scammers require payments by money order or COD upon the package delivery. Other scammers will tell you that you cannot open the box to inspect the products before you have paid for it. Refuse all deliveries that come in that way.
Report any company that requires you to pay for their mistakes. Any company that admits to have made a mistake with your orders and promises to refund you but withholds the refund or an order until you have paid another sum of money is not the right business partner. Regardless of how convincing they are, you should not pay more money for them to deliver the right merchandise, especially if the wrong delivery was a result of their mistake.
Be skeptical of the ads you see on television or hear on radio. Seeing products, services or job opportunities on a local television or hearing about them on the local radio does not guarantee the company’s legitimacy. Your first step should involve researching the company.
Be skeptical of individuals who want you to purchase into businesses based on selling high quality products from your home for less than the retail price. You have to ask yourself how the high quality brand-name products could cost less.
If you have considered investing in direct selling businesses but you have not made the first payment, you should avoid falling victim to schemes that appear as legitimate businesses. Multilevel marketing is among the most attractive business proposition to most business-oriented people. It provides an opportunity to get involved in products distribution systems. And unlike starting a business from scratch, multilevel marketing participants have the direct selling company’s support and they may also benefit from free training.
Apart from earning money off the sales, multilevel marketers also earn a small percentage of the income the distributors generate because of their hard work. Mostly, the distributors offer bonuses for selling a particular amount or signing up a particular number of people – you can earn cash, trips or cars. Even more, being a member of a multilevel marketing business is more like being part of an extended family.
Now, how do you know if a multilevel marketing program is legit? (Save yourself some time and know that 99% are NOT)
How long has the company existed?
That is the first question you should ask. The best time to join a multilevel marketing company is after it has existed for 5 years. By that time, you will be certain that the company is already capitalised and its turnover is good. Joining a company that has existed for lesser time is the worst idea because you will not be sure that it will survive. Going for a company that is older than 5 years is okay but you should try to identify new and exciting products.
Look at the company’s growth
To determine the company’s growth, you might need to engage the services of a professional. Some of the things you should check when selecting a company include its debts and finance. A company that is properly financed and has less debts may continue to exist and remain profitable for many years. However, you should keep in mind that most multilevel marketing companies are secretive about their operations – they do not want competitors to copy them.
Search for new and highly consumable products
Apart from the quality, you should look for products that are new and consumable. Some individuals have benefited from products that have existed for many years, but you are more likely to succeed if the product is new and the whole market is excited about it. A highly consumable product is one that your target customers can consume, finish, and come back for more. A quick example: the popular body care products and supplements.
Select opportunities that are likely to go international
Mostly, when a multilevel marketing company cannot penetrate markets in other countries, it is more likely to fail in the long term. To continue earning for many years, a company has to be international. Remember that your multilevel marketing business will not survive if the company fails.
Lookout for companies that allow you to recruit others
Some multilevel marketing companies allow down line, which involves convincing people to sell the products you receive – you will earn a commission for every sale they make. Even though most multilevel marketing businesses are structured that way, some do not allow formation of down lines.
Remember that starting a business is a marathon, not a sprint and anyone who is telling you that it is possible to make thousands of dollars a week without lifting a finger is LYING!