When you started thinking about freelancing, you may have come across some pretty interesting advertisements promising that people can earn great money from home, even in their spare time. As with anything in life, a good general rule to follow is “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. However when you are desperate for money and need to work from home, it can be hard not to fall for a scam. Here at Sagegroupy, the freelancer’s friend, we are always ready to help freelancers succeed and today we are going to make sure that you avoid work from home scams.
Common types of scams:
1. Internet businesses:
If you want to work hard and hustle your own brand, there are legitimate internet business opportunities out there, unfortunately there are also many scams claiming little work and a lot of pay. Some scams work by asking you to pay for a course before you can supposedly earn those big bucks. However, once you’ve paid for that course they will ask you to pay for a more advanced course or an insider-course, and then once you complete that they may ask you to do another one! And so on and so on, without no opportunity to earn any money, let alone the big bucks they promised you. Other scams might ask you to do a simple task such as using search engines and filling out forms about them. Before you can start, the scammers ask you to pay small shipping fee so that they can send you the forms, but that’s when they have a chance to grab your credit card information in order to steal your money.
2. Envelope stuffing:
This kind of scam sounds pretty legit because you have to do the work to get the money - and the money you can earn often doesn’t sound too far-fetched or extravagant. However, the scammers will ask for a small fee in order to send you supplies you need to start stuffing envelopes. They get your money and often there isn’t any work at all.
3. Assembly work:
Assembly scams are similar to the envelope stuffing scams, first you are asked to pay for supplies. The difference is, they will often send you the supplies and you will expend time and effort in order to do the work of assembling whatever it is you’re supposed to. Once you’re finished they will refuse to pay you for your work, claiming it “isn’t up to standard”. In this type of scam, not only do you lose money, you lose precious time that could have been spent working to earn money in a legitimate way.
4. Rebate processing:
This is a scam that claims you will be able to process rebates and earn money at home in your spare time - after paying a one time fee for registration, or training, or certification, of course! Unfortunately the money you pay will only result in bad training materials and no rebates to process.
5. Medical billing:
We've probably all seen the advertisements that claim you can work from home processing medical bills and make decent money. It is easy to be taken in by these types of scams because, like the envelope-stuffing or assembly scams, there is hard work to do and the earning potential doesn’t seem super out of proportion with the work. In order to scam you, they will ask you to pay for the billing software, a list of potential clients, and perhaps a technical support service package to get you started. Sadly the money you pay will only result in bad or no software, no clients and no support.
How to Spot a Scam:
All of the scams we’ve mentioned so far have one thing in common: they request money upfront. Any business that asks you to pay before you can earn should set off your scam-alarm. Remember, not only will they get the money you pay them upfront, they will get your credit card information and can use it to steal even more money from you later.
If you’re unsure whether an opportunity is a scam or not, you can check the FTC’s website for guidance on bogus business opportunities. It outlines rules for sellers such as: what information they must provide in a disclosure agreement and when an earnings claim statement is required by law.
If you’re thinking of signing on with a business to explore a new revenue stream, ask the business questions such as: what task do I have to do and what steps are involved? How will I be paid - who will pay me, when, and will I get a salary or be paid on commision? What’s the basis for your claims about earning potential? Please show me an earnings claim statement (they have to do this if requested). What is the total cost of this program and what will I get for my money? While the scammer will be smooth, if any of the answers to these questions sound at all fishy, trust your gut and walk away.
Do some online investigation in order to see if the company seem reputable. Check reviews to see if people are generally satisfied or unhappy with their programs or products. Just be sure to dig deeper than the company’s own website which may only feature glowing reviews. Try typing their name and “scam” or “complaints” into a search engine in order to see if you get any (or a lot of) hits - if so, you’ll know to run the other way.
If you follow these steps, you are certain to be scam-proof. Don't worry, there are still plenty of ways that you can work-from-home, just be sure to stick to reputable sites such as fiverr, upwork, and freelancer. Create a profile here on Sagegroupy - which is always free and free from scams - to find clients that want to pay you to use your skills to help them complete their projects.