Are you interested in finding a way to increase your income? When seeking employment it’s important to be aware of work-at-home scams or “easy money” opportunities listed on employment sites or solicited to you. This type of fraud is perpetrated in a variety of ways, from buying and reshipping products to building e-commerce websites that promise you a cut of the action based on the web traffic you generate.
One thing that most work-at-home scams have in common is that they offer big returns for little effort. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some red flags:
- Up-front fees: Many work-at-home scams pose as business opportunities that require you to pay money in advance for customer lists, startup costs, marketing materials or supplies.
- Seeking personal information: Be wary of work-at-home opportunities that ask for your Social Security number or banking information. This may be a front for identity theft.
- Recruiting others: Work-at-home scams often operate as pyramid schemes, requiring you to recruit others. Be skeptical if you are asked to involve others in the work.
Although work-at-home offers may be tempting, make sure to do your homework through an organization like the Better Business Bureau, a local workforce center or your state’s department of labor and employment prior to participating in any work-at-home opportunities.
If you have any questions about a job opportunity that seems too good to be true or a work-at-home scheme that reports to result in “easy money,” contact an AARP Foundation ElderWatch volunteer specialist at 800-222-4444, option 2, to talk you through the situation.