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Have A Happier New Year -- Five Tips For Avoiding Work At Home Scams

Ah, the New Year is upon us, and many of us are ready for a change! This is the time when thousands of people turn over a new leaf and decide to start a home based business. One major downside to this process is the unfortunate abundance of work at home scams, cleverly disguised as legitimate home based business opportunities.

You can't spend your whole life in fear, or reading every 'scam watch' website ... so how on earth do you figure out which home based business opportunity is legitimate, and which is a work at home scam?

This article will give you five tips that will educate you thoroughly so you can quickly avoid wasting your time on business opportunities of questionable integrity.

Work at home scams disguise themselves as legitimate opportunities in a number of ways. Always thoroughly investigate any work at home opportunity before you invest.

1. Stay away from exaggerated claims. This sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many people fall for hyped up income claims. Work at home scams often make outrageous claims. If a work at home opportunity tells you that you'll earn ,000 in your first month, or that you don't have to sell anything, that you don't have to do any work, these are danger signs of hype. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Work at home scams prey upon the hope and dreams of others. Remember that there is no such thing as easy money or the secret, hidden business opportunity that will make you rich in a few weeks.

2. Avoid high pressure sales tactics. Work at home scams try to get your money fast! They don't want you to take your time and investigate their opportunity. If someone tries to pressure you into investing in a work at home business opportunity without giving you the time to check it out, this is a danger sign that you could be involving yourself in a work at home scam.

Do your due diligence, check out every claim you hear with real facts. Work at home scams succeed because people don't take the time to do the research required before getting involved.

3. Don't pay to work! Again, this seems obvious, but many people miss the boat on this one. Work at home scams will try to get you to pay for employment listings, but true home based employment with a legitimate company does not cost anything. Any home based business will require an investment, work at home employment does not!

There are a few legitimate work at home job listings websites out there which provide resume assistance, listing, and other services for freelancers which require a small yearly fee to access their database of jobs and other benefits like medical and dental insurance. Any legitimate work at homes job broker will provide a full money back guarantee, otherwise don't even think about it!

4. Thoroughly check the credentials of a company. Whether it's a work at home job or a home based business opportunity, make absolutely sure you are dealing with a solid, reputable company. This is one of the best strategies for avoiding work at home scams. Check their company's standing at Dunn and Bradstreet. This will cost a fee but is worthwhile if you are going to make a large investment or are uncertain about the legitimacy of the company.

Find other representatives or work at home employees of the company and ask how their work is going and whether they are happy with the company's support. Look at the products you'd be marketing or services you'd be providing. Are they good quality, legitimate, and reasonably priced? Do they come with a money back guarantee? Are the product claims exaggerated, or are they backed by science? Work at home scams will not have these things in place.

Call the company yourself. Are they prompt and do they respond to your inquiries? Are they professional and courteous? Does the company provide you with clients or will you need to do the marketing yourself? Is their pay fair so that you can earn a good income? If you are doing commission sales, how many customers will you need to earn what you need?

Can customers get a refund if they're not satisfied with the company's product or service? Check with the Better Business Bureau. Though m Many legitimate companies may also have a few complains, disreputable companies that promote Work at home scams will have more and more complaints filed against them.

Are you paid to sell products? Some work at home scams are pyramid scams where you make money only by bringing in other members. If your only pay is from recruitment of other representatives, rather than the sale of legitimate products, then stay away! This kind of thing is considered a pyramid scheme and is illegal. A legitimate MLM or Network Marketing Business will provide you with a way to both sell products AND build a team of business partners. You will be paid ONLY on the product volume your new partners use or sell, not on recruiting fees paid for bringing new representatives into the business.

5. Avoid envelope stuffing and home assembly jobs! There is abundant evidence that both of these are nothing more than work at home scams which take your money. The envelope stuffing job is nothing more than some materials advertising the same job that you signed up for. You put your contact information on the flyers and the poor souls who reply send their money to you!

Home assembly jobs require you to pay for a kit of materials. You are provided some materials and then either required to sell the finished product yourself, or you are told that your work is unsatisfactory. Be careful!

In Summary

Look before you leap! Work at home scams take advantage of ignorance and emotion. Don't get involved in any work at home job or business opportunity before checking out the company thoroughly. I personally make it a rule to never purchase anything that does not have a money back guarantee.

Trust your 'gut' instincts! If something seems fishy or questionable, investigate the opportunity thoroughly to determine if it is a work at home scam.

Don't pay high prices for home business opportunity seminars, or training seminars. Some work at home scams involve attendance at progressively higher priced training seminars in exotic locations.

Don't allow yourself to be pressured into making any hasty decisions. Take all the time you need to investigate a home based business opportunity, and research, research, research!

Work at home scams are an unfortunate fact of life on the internet. Your own diligence and careful research will help you avoid these and move forward into a prosperous and exciting new year, filled with possibilities for growth and new life.

About the Author: Tamara Esgoode is a writer for, an online home business coaching and mentoring service for women of heart. Visit for more tips on avoiding work at home scams.

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