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How to know if work-at-home businesses are scams

Seeking a job at home
Seeking a job at home
Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images

If you need to supplement your income, be home with your children or even find a job, you may consider those work-at-home businesses you see advertised.

A work-at-home opportunity to make thousands of dollars sounds very appealing. You click on the website and it looks official but most of all, hopeful. There are real people extolling the benefits of working at home, making money and changing their life.

The site may list major networks at the top of their page giving the impression the networks endorse the business. An article may include the author and the publication they work for adding authenticity. It may have a video clip with a news personality recommending the company.

It all looks legitimate doesn’t it?

In order to avoid scams, the FTC suggests questions to ask: can they prove their claims are true, what is the total cost of the program including supplies, will any more money be requested or needed, how and when will you get paid and what will they provide for the money.

Check with local and state consumer protection agencies, the Better Business Bureau and the FTC. You may not always see a complaint lodged.

Search online and enter the company’s name and then enter complaints or reviews. You may look through a couple of pages before finding reviews. Do not trust the reviews on the company’s website.

Do not commit to anything until you’ve researched the ad or company. Do not offer your credit card and be wary when money is requested.

You might find that the author of the article is not a real person. Research the name and the journal. As for the person making the money, two different sites have the same picture with two different names. Another site shows a woman making an endorsement, which she did, just not for that particular business.

Some businesses will lower their price to an unusually low price to grab you. If you multiply that by thousands of people, they still make a profit. Other tactics used are time limits to apply pressure: this day only, you only have two hours before this offer ends and you will not see this price again.

Some money making businesses have chosen you to join their select secret group, though it appears everyone is chosen, even posted on social media.

If you do find a legitimate business, check out how much work is required. It may be long and tedious and require more time than what you’re able to earn.

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