Legitimate Work-from-Home Programs
Yes, there are a few legitimate work from home "programs", mostly call centers. And aside from one or two that require a $30 background check, you should never pay any fees upfront - that is a sure sign of a scam!
These appear to be legitimate. We have no relationship of any kind with them, we receive no fees, payments or anything from them. We're not recommending them, only saying that they appear to be legitimate. If you want to work from home and have at least minimal computer skills, we'd recommend your own hobby blog, specialty website, eBay or Yahoo store instead. See this website for how to do that: http://www.consumersguidetomakingmoneyonline.org/
- AlpineAccess.com - Virtual call center - provider of customer service solutions using home-based employees.
- ConvergysWorkatHome.com - Be an independent contractor home agent providing customer care, human resources and billing services
- eLance.com - Links freelancers with employers in many areas, such as IT, graphic design, writing, engineering, translation, marketing, accounting and administrative and legal services
- GetAFreelancer.com - Europe's version of U.S.-based freelance sites. They are based in Sweden and have a subscriber base of 65,000 freelancers around the world.
- Guru.com - Freelancers: Market your skills, find online freelance work, and get paid safely.
- IntelliCare.com - Call center company for clinical and non-clinical telephone services to healthcare providers, plan administrators and healthcare managers
- LiveOps.com - Virtual call center using remote and home-based agents. This is one of the few that requires applicants to pay in advance for a mandatory background check ($50).
- MSVAS.com - Vvirtual assistant training programs for U.S. military spouses and U.S. Department of State Foreign Service spouses
- TeamDoubleClick.com - Virtual assistant program
- WAHM.com - Work-at-home mom resource (online magazine)
- West.com - Provider of "at-home-agents,"
- WorkingSolutions.com - Offers positions as home-based customer service agents
- WorkplaceLikeHome.com - Discussion forum to find work at home job leads
How to check out a work from home scam
- Ask for a street address, not just a PO Box, and find out as much as you can about the company and its operations.
- Ask to talk to other employees - and to ensure they are for real, visit them to see what type of work is involved and how they are organized.
- Ask to see examples of the final product and the work required.
- Ask what materials are supplied, or not supplied.
- Ask how you will be paid - and in what currency.
- Ask where the business is incorporated and where it's business license is filed.
- Research the product - is it a viable money-maker, and are the proposed returns achievable?
- Do your sums - ask yourself whether the time required to do the job, in conjunction with the start up or material costs, match the returns to be expected.
- Use common-sense: if you have never heard of the product, or their products are very expensive or there is a fee to sign up as a "distributor" or "consultant", those are tips that it is a multi-level-marketing scam.
- Click here for the United States Postal Service's pdf explanation of work from home scams.
Questions to Ask
Legitimate work-at-home program sponsors should tell you - in writing - what's involved in the program they are selling. Here are some questions you might ask a promoter:
- What tasks will I have to perform? (Ask the program sponsor to list every step of the job.)
- Will I be paid a salary or will my pay be based on commission?
- Who will pay me?
- Will I be expected to send money via Western Union?
- When will I get my first paycheck?
- What is the total cost of the work-at-home program, including supplies, equipment and membership fees? What will I get for my money?
The answers to these questions may help you determine whether a work-at-home program is appropriate for your circumstances, and whether it is legitimate or simply a scam.
You also might want to check out the company with your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau, not only where the company is located, but also where you live. These organizations can tell you whether they have received complaints about the work-at-home program that interests you. But be wary: the absence of complaints doesn't necessarily mean the company is legitimate. Unscrupulous companies may settle complaints, change their names or move to avoid detection.
Where to Complain
If you have spent money and time on a work-at-home program and now believe the program may not be legitimate, contact the company and ask for a refund. Let company representatives know that you plan to notify officials about your experience. If you can't resolve the dispute with the company, file a complaint with these organizations:
- The Federal Trade Commission works for the consumer to prevent fraud and deception. Call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
- The Attorney General's office in your state or the state where the company is located. The office will be able to tell you whether you're protected by any state law that may regulate work-at-home programs.
- Your local consumer protection offices.
- Your local Better Business Bureau.
- Your local postmaster. The U.S. Postal Service investigates fraudulent mail practices.
- The advertising manager of the publication that ran the ad. The manager may be interested to learn about the problems you've had with the company.
Read the fine print on the commercials!
Almost all of the scam work-from-home schemes advertised on television have fine print briefly superimposed along the bottom of the screen, usually while something distracting is being shown, like a pretty blond in a bathing suit talking about how she bought the mansion behind her with the money she earned. Crazyfox.com and other commercials typically say:
- "There are no guarantees of specific income nor are there any representations of actual income.
- Amounts stated are for illustrative purposes only and are not typical.
- Persons depicted are paid actors."
The Crazyfox31.com website has this at the bottom:
- The incomes depicted are not typical and represent a small percentage of actual participants. There are no guarantees that participants will be able to achieve the income levels depicted. Each individual's success will be determined by his or her desire, dedication, effort, ability to follow directions and personal talent. The actual contents of success kit may vary than what is depicted.
On another Crazy like a fox alias website, www.49chance.com you will find this statement (seen on May 5, 2008):
- There are no guarantees of specific income, nor are there any representations of actual income. Amounts stated are for illustrative purposes only and are not typical. Persons depicted are paid actors.
Those statements ought to be a BIG clue that they are selling you an illusion... in other words, a scam. Read the statements again. Essentially they are saying that everything you hear the paid actors saying is NOT typical and will not be backed up by anything.
ther printed small print negates almost everything the actors are saying.
Generally, you're paying for a pretty worthless booklet which tells you how wonderful it would be to be your own boss and make big money, set your own hours, etc., but no plan or details on how to achieve that.
Of course, when you ordered the "kit" you gave the scammers your name, phone number and address; which they will promptly sell to many other companies who will then start calling you to sell more services and schemes.
Examples sent in by visitors:
- See this page for examples of emails promoting work-from-home products that are either worthless or flat-out scams.
- Click here to check out these scam, fraud, or just plain worthless work-from-home schemes
And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive. We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!