As years pass and times change, people become more and more interested in earning an income while working from home.
However, the more the demand for work-from-home opportunities rises, so does the population of work-from-home scams.
As a matter of fact, nowadays, the legit work-from-home scams tragically outnumber the actual legit opportunities…
Not only that but over the years, scammers have evolved and adapted their practices so well that right now, identifying a scam can be extremely tricky for the average potential victim.
Having said that, in this article I’m going to save you tons of time, energy, money, and frustration by sharing with you all the information you might possibly need to fully understand exactly How to Spot and Avoid Work-From-Home Scams.
Whether you’re currently looking to invest in a work-from-home opportunity or have already been scammed by one, you DEFINITELY need to read this.
Please note that this article is dedicated to teaching you how to detect and avoid work-from-home scams that dress up like survey panels, GPT (Get Paid To) platforms, and online business opportunities, NOT work-from-home job scams.
Nonetheless, many of the advice and tips I’m going to outline within this guide could probably be utilized towards spotting and avoiding work-from-home job scams as well.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What are Work-from-Home Scams?
Work-from-home scams are deceptive schemes that trick you into believing that participating in them is going to enable you to generate an income while working from home without being able to actually deliver any of their promises.
Some of the most common reasons scammers put together work-from-home scams are to:
- Steal and sell personal information
- Uncover login credentials to emails, social media, and bank accounts
- Get people to spend money on sign up and/or membership fees
- Steal credit card information
- Promote products or services they’re affiliated with
- Infect electronic devices with viruses
- & more
As such, work-from-home scams are not just an extremely frustrating waste of time, energy, and money, but could also compromise and damage many valuable personal and sensitive assets.
That being said, the rest of this article is dedicated to revealing to you how to shield yourself from such sneaky and deceitful work-at-home scams by learning exactly how to spot and avoid them.
How to Spot a Work-from-Home Scam
1 • It Sounds Too Good to Be True
One of the most tattletale signs of a work-from-home scam is making unrealistic income claims that sound way too good to be true.
If a money-making platform claims that it’ll pay you $50 for filling surveys and installing apps, or $500 per day for using your social media accounts, it’s definitely attempting to scam you.
The exact same thing applies to all those business opportunities that promise to help you generate a 6-figure income fast and effortlessly, “even if you have no technical skills or previous experience”.
Ultimately, what sounds way too good to be true, always is…
So try to keep your distance from any work-from-home opportunity that promises extraordinary amounts of money in extremely small timeframes because it really ain’t gonna happen…
2 • Fake/No Contact Info
Most work-from-home scams provide no contact information whatsoever in order to avoid having their victims contacting them and the authorities tracking them.
As such, any money-making opportunity that offers no means of communicating with a help desk or at least some kind of sales representative should be automatically labeled as a scam.
On the other hand, nowadays, in an attempt to appear more legit, many work-from-home scams do provide some contact information that upon closer investigation aren’t actually valid.
Having said that, here’s how to determine whether the contact information you’ve been provided with is valid or fake.
1 – Email Address:
Head over to email-checker.net.
Fill in the email address you’d like to test for validity and hit the “Check” button.
If the message returned by email-checker.net is “BAD” or “UNKNOWN” or anything besides “VALID”, then the email address is fake.
2 – Phone Number:
Give the phone number a few calls during regular working hours…
If the line keeps disconnecting, or you keep getting automated machine messages, or no one picks up, then it’s almost certainly fake.
Another course of action is to Google it.
If the exact same phone number appears on several other random and unrelated websites or on one or more fake phone number sites such as fakenumber.org then it’s definitely fake.
3 – Skype/Telegram:
The first step you can take towards figuring out if a Skype/Telegram address is fake is Googling it to see if there’s any feedback about it.
If there’s no feedback whatsoever, then this could be a sign that it’s actually valid.
However, if you stumble upon complaints about it as well as statements that it’s fake or a scam then, well, it probably is.
Another thing you can do to determine if a Skype/Telegram address is valid or not is to actually contact it with a few queries.
If nobody gets back to you within a week, then this could signify that the address doesn’t really exist.
4 – Physical Address:
Head over to Google Maps and search for the given physical address.
If the address doesn’t exist, then the work-from-home opportunity that provided it is definitely a scam.
If the address is valid, click on “Photos” or the “360° Street View”.
If the company that provides the work-from-home opportunity is actually located at that address, then both the company and its opportunity are probably legit.
If not, then the company could be fake and the work-from-home opportunity it offers a scam.
If the address is being occupied by a large building that consists of dozens of offices, the only way to confirm whether the company is actually housed there is to physically go there yourself.
Lastly, you could also Google the address…
If the exact same address appears to be used by multiple other websites then chances are that it’s fake.
3 • Fake/No Owner
Another sign that you’ve stumbled upon a work-from-home scam is that it doesn’t offer any information regarding who owns and provides it.
Obviously, that’s the case because anyone who gets tied with a scam is going to have not only their reputation ruined but also the authorities on their tail.
One thing is certain…
The owners of legit work-from-home opportunities ALWAYS make themselves known either right on the sales/home page of the opportunity they offer, or on an easily accessible “About” page, period.
Just a heads up…
In an attempt to boost their trustworthiness, many work-from-home scams fraudulently create fake owners by using random people’s images and made-up names.
That being said, the following 5 steps can help you ensure that the person who is presented as the owner of a work-from-home opportunity is not made-up…
- Download the owner’s picture to your computer
- Head over to Google’s image search
- Click on the little camera icon on the right of the search bar
- Choose “Upload an Image”
- Upload the picture of the owner
If that same picture that supposedly depicts the owner of the opportunity appears on a bunch of other irrelevant websites, then the owner is definitely made-up and thus the opportunity should be considered a work-from-home scam.
Another way to determine if the owner of an opportunity is fake is to attempt to locate their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or LinkedIn profiles.
If you manage to find none, that’s definitely a red flag that the owner is not an actual person.
The same thing applies if you do come across one or more social media profiles that seem unprofessional, inactive, with very few or no friends/followers, no images, and no feed activity.
4 • No Social Presence
Nowadays, social media is being utilized by even the smallest neighborhood corner stores.
Not only that, but most legit work-from-home opportunities offer their members access to private, member-exclusive Facebook Groups.
Having said that, if a work-from-home opportunity has no social media presence in place, it’s almost certainly a scam.
On the other hand, lately, work-from-home scams have started putting together social media profiles in order to appear more legit.
In that case, if the social media profiles of a work-from-home opportunity are
- Presented in an unprofessional manner
- Inactive & deserted
- Filled with unanswered questions
- Full of inconsistent information such as different or no logo, wrong contact info, etc
then chances are that you’re looking at a scam.
5 • It’s Obscure & Unrealistic
Work-from-home scams, especially those that disguise themselves as business opportunities, provide very little and mostly obscure information regarding what they have to offer and how they truly work.
Instead, most of them tend to keep throwing around a lot of random fluff, confusing and salesy language, vague statements, and outlandish earning claims, such as:
- The secret 6-figure method no one knows about
- Earn $500 by sending hot-leads through a secret traffic discovery system
- The ATM system that deposits money to your bank account on autopilot
- The hidden cash loophole that no one else is talking about
- State of the art push-button glitch
- Secret copy and paste income trick
- etc, etc
Any work-from-home opportunity that doesn’t offer a crystal clear explanation regarding exactly how it’ll help you earn money from home before you invest in it, is probably trying to confuse you on purpose in order to scam you.
6 • Google It!
One of the fastest and most common ways towards uncovering a work-from-home scam is by heading over to Google and typing in its name + “Review” or “Scam” (without the plus sign and the quotes).
If the reviews and ratings the opportunity has received are mostly negative, it’s probably in your best interest to avoid investing in it.
On the other hand, overly positive feedback can also be considered a red flag.
That’s because a lot of work-from-home scams promise commissions for driving other people into them and so, reviewers will praise them in order to lure other people in and pocket commissions.
Countering such instances is pretty simple…
First, make sure to focus only on the feedback provided by reputable and well-established rating platforms such as Trustpilot, BBB, SurveyPolice, SiteJabber, BusinessforHome, Feefo, and Reviews.io.
In addition, you could Google the opportunity’s name + “Review” + “dearboss-iquit.com” to see if I’ve put together a review about it on dearboss-iquit.com.
If not, you can contact me right here, let me know about the opportunity that you’d like me to review, and I’ll do my best to help you out!
7 • Weird TLDs
TLD (Top-Level Domain) is the segment of a website’s address that is located after its last dot.
For instance, the TLD of google.com is “.com”.
TLDs that seem to be way out of the ordinary, such as “.xyz”, “.club”, “.website”, “.online”, etc are quite common among work-from-home scams as they cost 10-20 times less than normal TLDs.
How to Avoid Work-From-Home Scams
1 • ALWAYS Do Your Homework
The #1 step to avoiding work-from-home scams is to ALWAYS do your homework before investing any time, energy, and/or money in any opportunity that might catch your attention, no matter how legit it might initially seem…
Over the years, scammers have become extremely proficient in covering their tracks and making their work-from-home scams appear even more legit than the actual legit opportunities.
That being said, nowadays, uncovering work-from-home scams is harder than ever so make sure that the research you conduct is always as thorough as possible.
If you’d like to make the entire process of identifying work-from-home scams a lot easier, I suggest that you bookmark this guide so that you’ll have it handy for reference every time you come across a work-from-home opportunity that you’d like to investigate.
2 • Gain Some Perspective
The people who are the most likely to fall for a work-from-home scam are those who
- Don’t have a clue about how money is really made
- Are desperate about making money fast
- Always choose “the easy way out” over making an effort
If you’ve fallen for a work-from-home scam, then chances are that one or more of the instances I just mentioned applies to you as well…
What you need to understand here if you want to scam-proof yourself is that making money fast and effortlessly is NOT an actual thing.
Earning substantial money requires the investment of substantial amounts of time and effort.
Unfortunately, there’s NO WAY AROUND…
NOBODY is going to pay you $500 per day for completing simple tasks that a monkey could complete for free.
And NO ONE is going to pay you a 6-figure income for spending 5 minutes setting up a low-quality DFY funnel that you purchased for $9.99.
As long as you keep going after shortcuts to effortless riches, systems that guarantee financial freedom, blueprints to instant success, magic bullets to extraordinary results, and offers that promise a multiple-figure income for minuscule work, you’re doomed to keep falling for scam after scam.
3 • Never Hand Out Sensitive Personal Information
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, work-from-home scams are used as a means to:
- steal and sell personal information
- uncover login credentials to emails, social media, and bank accounts
- as well as steal credit card information
For instance, about a year ago, a friend of mine submitted his mobile phone number within a survey panel.
That survey panel turned out to be a scam that sold my friend’s phone number to a few paid text-message services that kept sending him dozens of promotional text messages per day at his own cost!
My friend ended up losing around $200 and had to actually ditch his mobile phone number for a new one.
A couple of months ago, another friend of mine submitted his credit card details to take part in a free trial provided by a GPT platform.
That GPT platform proved to be a scam that started charging my friend’s credit card out of nowhere for products/services he had never bought.
That second friend also lost around $200 and had to cancel his credit card and issue a new one.
That being said, I’d suggest that you avoid handing out any of your sensitive personal information, such as
- credit card number
- bank account info
- phone number
- email address
- Full name
- Physical address
- Social security number
unless you’re absolutely sure that it’s going to be handled professionally and properly by a trustworthy entity.
Work-from-home scams are a drain on our society…
However, the reason they’re currently flourishing is that people keep falling for them.
If work-from-home scams didn’t have a substantial audience, they’d surely eclipse.
That being said, make sure to share this guide with everyone you know so that they become aware of how to Spot and Avoid Work-From-Home Scams.
This way, we might eventually manage to deprive work-from-home scams of their audience, thus cutting them at their roots.
- Have you been scammed by a work-from-home scam?
- How many times have you fallen for one?
- What was the scam’s name?
Please leave a comment right below and let us know all about your experience.
Best wishes and stay safe,