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As you scan the internet looking for businesses to start, you’re going to find some great ones and some fishy ones. The problem is, it’s sometimes hard to tell which offers are a home business scam and what’s legit. The most important thing you can learn is the phrase “Buyer Beware.”

The most common work-at-home scams are:

  • Envelope stuffing
  • Assembly work
  • Claims processing
  • Medical billing
  • Collecting refunds

But there are more scams that have started with the advent of high-speed internet, such as sudden emailed job opportunities for “at home” secretaries, (not to be confused with virtual assistants) managers and more. These types of scams are phishing for your personal information so that they can steal your identity.

The best way to approach any type of home business opportunity is with skepticism and then do a little digging.

Contact the Better Business Bureau

Even if a company doesn’t join the BBB, complaints can still be made about them. Go to the website and find out if any complaints have been filed about that particular company.

Is the Pay Higher Than Average?

Many times some of these scammers will claim you’re going to hear 100K a year as a customer service representative or some other title that doesn’t make sense with the job offer.

It’s Just Too Good to Be True

It’s a common phrase because it’s accurate. If any website, email, phone call, or mailer promises things that you just feel deep down inside cannot possibly be true, then you’re likely right.

How Long Has Their Website Been Active?

Go to their website. How does it look? Are there any claims you know right off the bat that aren’t true? Do a “who is” search to find out how long the website has been around.

Check Out Testimonials

Do they have testimonials? If so, find the people who gave the testimonial to verify if they’re actual people, and whether or not they still feel the same way. Usually, people are happy to talk about something they love, and will gladly privately tell you about something they don’t.

Stalk Their Social Media

Can you find their social media accounts so that you can follow them for a while and get to know what type of activity happens on their social media? If you can’t find them or their company, you should question whether or not it’s a scam.

Be Aware of Browser Hijacking

Anyone can accidentally download software without even realizing it today. You’ll try to go to a certain site, and it will force your browser to go to a different one. This is not the fault of the website owner and can happen to anyone. That’s why it’s important to keep your virus and malware programs up-to-date. Use the software put out by your particular operating system.

Learn to Protect Yourself

Never give out personal information that can be used to steal your identity. If you have a business and are in the USA, get an EIN from the IRS. It’s free and you don’t have to have employees to get one. This number can be used instead of your social security number when you are asked for a number.

You don’t have to fall victim to any work-at-home or home business scam. There is no such thing as not working and getting money. There is no easy road to riches. There always has to be activity required by you to make a living.

If you’re unsure about whether an “opportunity” is actually a scam, join the Making It Pay for aspiring work from home entrepreneurs and freelancers Facebook Group and ask our members about their experiences!