Do you know what I find especially worrying about work from home scams?
It’s surprisingly easy to get caught out.
Because I’ve personally discovered that many of these so-called work from home ‘opportunities’ are posted on reputable job sites.
Such as Indeed, Monster, and e4s.
Below, I’ve exposed 7 of the most common work from home scams and how to avoid them.
I’ve also provided a legitimate work from home job alternative at the end.
Online Work From Home Scams List
The severity of work from home scams varies.
Some of the online work from home cons that I’ve listed below will leave you directly out of pocket.
These are the ‘traditional’ scams – as it were.
Because you’ll know without a doubt that you’ve been had.
But only once it’s too late.
Subtle Work From Home Scams
My personal experience has revealed some more subtle work from home scams.
With many of them appearing like legitimate jobs for a while.
When in reality – you’re being exploited by the ’employer’.
But you may go on working for them for a long time.
Without realising that you’re being done over.
Scam 1: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) Schemes
At the macro-level, multi-level marketing (MLM) typically allows you to make money in two ways:
- Purchasing and re-selling the company’s products directly;
- Recruiting others and profiting from their direct sales commissions.
Here’s a more detailed explanation of MLM:
As explained in the video.
MLM is a legal business model that differentiates itself from a pure ‘pyramid scheme’ by offering a product to sell.
However, the ‘downline’ structure of most MLM companies favours those at the ‘top’ of the ‘pyramid’.
Meaning that new recruits typically struggle to make even the national minimum wage.
This was the case with Herbalife.
Examples of Common MLM Companies
MLM companies may differ in their selling strategies at the micro-level.
This is often to disguise the fact that they are MLMs and to stay on the right side of the law.
Common examples include:
- Avon (one of the ‘better’ MLMs);
- Arbonne International;
- Juice Plus;
- Neal’s Yard Remedies.
See more MLM companies here.
Why You Should Avoid MLMs
It’s certainly true that you can make money with MLMs.
(Avon is typically quoted as being one of the ‘softer’ and more ‘ethical’ MLMs).
But the vast majority of people who get involved with
Because you’re starting your own business – rather than working for a fixed wage.
And it’s a business where the odds are stacked massively against you.
Yet such opportunities are often advertised as legitimate ‘jobs’.
Hence why I personally consider many MLMs to be scams.
Scam 2: ‘Headhunter’ Start-Up Scams
I’m not talking about the more obvious ‘fake recruiter’ scams that run on LinkedIn.
Where phony profiles are used to send out bogus job offers in an attempt to steal your personal information.
In this case, I’m referring to small start-up businesses that try to exploit your skills to build their business for the equivalent of pennies on the hour.
If you showcase your skills on a freelance website – or if you run your own niche website.
This could see you get caught out.
The ‘Rev. Share’ Project Scam
Start-up companies will often create ‘bleeding edge’ products/services that the market may not take to.
However, the upside is that if the company ends up creating the next ‘Facebook’, ‘Uber’ or whatever – they’ll be quids in.
But if the company needs to outsource any of the content/service creation – this could push up costs.
However, one way to tip the odds in their favour is to recruit ‘niche’ experts/skilled workers on a revenue profit share agreement.
Where the ‘expert’ will be offered a percentage of the profits made from the project.
What’s the Issue?
This appears like a legit offer.
But a raw ‘rev. share’ agreement means that you could end up working for free for an undisclosed period of time.
And if the project is indeed a success – the owner will take the lion’s share of the profits.
But if the project bombs?
The company’s losses will have been minimised.
But you’ll have wasted your time and not received a penny in return.
How to Avoid ‘Rev. Share’ Scams
Contracts are essential.
You need to ensure that you’re going to be compensated for your initial efforts.
And ideally, for the potential future success of any projects that you are involved in.
You’ll need to negotiate the terms carefully depending on your situation.
Similarly, if you’re asked to sign a contract – make sure you FULLY understand the terms.
Get Legal Advice
If possible, have a legal professional help you with the nuts and bolts.
Don’t assume that as the ‘consultant’ you’ll be protected by default.
Most contracts will be worded in such a way to explicitly transfer copyrights to the developer.
There may even be specific clauses that may prevent you from ‘starting’ your own ‘competing’ business.
Which could potentially be disastrous depending on how you make your living at present.
Scam 3: Social Media and Forum Spamming
I once applied for an ‘ads posting’ job through a well-respected job site.
And after a rather dubious telephone conversation with the ‘recruiter’.
I realised that the ‘job’ was a scam.
Because they were basically asking me to spam Facebook groups with adverts.
But I’d only get paid if people actually bought the products.
The chance of which would have been very slim I should imagine.
Scam 4: Forex and Stockbroker Jobs
Becoming a successful financial trader is incredibly difficult.
(I know – because I’ve tried).
So, if you discover a ‘Trainee Forex Trader’, ‘Trainee Trader’, ‘Junior Stockbroker’ or similarly worded job opportunity.
It’s probably a scam.
Especially if the position is being advertised as providing you with a ‘second income’.
Because after the initial application – you’ll usually be invited to a ‘free’ workshop.
Where you’ll probably be upsold worthless financial trading courses, EA’s (‘expert advisors’) and other ‘done-for-you’ trading tools that don’t work.
Scam 5: Low-Paying Mystery Shopping Jobs
You can make some money online with ‘mystery shopping jobs’.
But it’s basically impossible to earn a full-time income by filling out online surveys, testing products, and using cashback sites.
Yet many of these ‘paid research jobs’ are advertised as such.
And after testing a few of these opportunities out.
I discovered that you’ll struggle to make more than $1 an hour on average in most cases.
One of the ‘semi’ exceptions to the rule was 20Cogs.
Where you can technically make around £200 – £300 if you complete all 20 tasks.
Easier said than done though.
Scam 6: Envelope Stuffing
Envelope stuffing is a classic work from home scam.
Do NOT get involved with ANY work from home job that says you can earn £X for each envelope stuffed in exchange for an initial ‘fee’.
This fee is often justified in exchange for a ‘starter kit’ (or nothing at all!).
But upon sending your completed work back to the company – you’ll often be told that it didn’t meet ‘standards’.
And you’ll not be paid.
Scam 7: Assembly Jobs
This basically follows the same model as the envelope stuffing scam.
You buy a ‘kit’ that allows you to create items that the company promises to ‘buy back’ from you once complete.
The scam is that you’re overcharged on the start-up kit.
And the items that you create are never bought back.
Wasting both your time and money.
How to Spot and Avoid Work From Home Scams
I’ve already listed some of the specifics above.
Here are some more general ways to protect yourself when looking for legitimate work from home jobs.
- Be wary of ‘easy money’ claims – if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
- Never pay money upfront – legit employers won’t ask you to buy ‘stock’.
- Be wary of non-domain specific emails like @gmail – legit employers usually have @[company name] suffixes.
- Do not respond to ‘opportunities’ in ‘make money online’ Facebook groups – most are scams.
- Be suspicious of lucrative job offers with no entry requirements – typical of Forex scams.
- Watch out for vague job descriptions – with a focus on the lifestyle ‘benefits’ of being your own boss etc.
How to Work From Home – Without Getting Scammed
Most legit work from home jobs require you to already have a skill.
For example, if you’ve already worked as a social media content creator.
You may be able to apply for a ‘real’ job that allows you to perform part of the job from home.
In which case you’ll probably have to go for an interview.
This has been the case when I’ve applied for copywriting, eCommerce, and data analysis roles with home-working options.
But what if you don’t have any experience in a particular sector?
Freelancing – Hit and Miss
One solution is to learn a skill and then go freelance with it.
For example, you could teach yourself web development and then try to get work on Freelancer or Upwork.
However, this didn’t work very well for me when I tried to offer my SEO and copywriting services.
Simply because the competition was too great.
Here’s what I did instead.
I Set Up My Own Online Affiliate Business
I’m not really a fan of working for other people in general.
Even on a work-from home basis.
Because I enjoy my own freedom too much.
And I believe that if I’ve taken the time to learn a skill.
It should be ME who benefits directly from it.
Which is EXACTLY what setting up my own online affiliate business has allowed me to do.
For example, I earned more than $10,000 from just one of my websites in passive income:
Simply by creating SEO optimised content for the web.
And inserting my affiliate links in places where people are logically likely to buy something.
Affiliate marketing isn’t a job.
But it’s nothing like MLM.
Which is why I consider affiliate marketing to be a legitimate work from home job alternative.
And do you know what?
ANYONE Can Do It!
It doesn’t matter if you can barely use the internet.
I’ll show you the exact steps that I took to start making money online from affiliate marketing.
But WITHOUT having to worry about getting scammed or ripped-off.
Click the button below to get started now.