We all get those emails: Earn $500 or more per hour from home! Get rich quick without lifting a finger! High paying jobs for work-at-home moms!
The problem? When you actually follow the link in the email, you’re taken to a pyramid scheme, a job where $500 per hours is possible but $2 an hour is the norm, or a flat-out scam where people convince you that you’ll get rich in this job, but you’re required to pay for training material first.
There are actually legitimate work from home jobs available, though, if you know where to look. I’ve done everything from reviewing products to data entry, and I’ve been paid well in most cases. So how do you pick out the real jobs you can do from home from the scams and spam messages? Here are some pointers:
- Never pay to work for someone.
This is especially common with data-entry jobs – someone will offer you the chance to make millions, but first you have to buy a list for them. Or, someone will offer you a job, but you have to pay a monthly fee to access their entry system or submission platform. Real jobs don’t ask you to pay for anything upfront.
- Work under a contract.
Writers, graphic designers, and anyone else who works with clients remotely nee to remember something crucial – any legitimate job offer will come attached with a contract. If a company refuses to work under a contract that describes the scope of your work and the payment terms, there’s a good chance they were never willing to pay you from the start.
- Find contact information.
When you find a work-at-home job ad, one of the quickest ways to test for legitimacy is to look for company contact information on their website. Scammers might have a contact form or generic email address, but any legitimate company who wants to hire you will have an address and phone number. Also, beware any company that has a yahoo/gmail/etc email address. Most legitimate companies will have something more official. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but this is one of the factors you should consider when deciding whether or not to work for someone.
- Ask for averages, not maximums.
A lot of people make claims that you can make $X per hour/day/week by working for them. You can make that much…but how much does the average employee actually make? Potential does not mean that you’ll earn even a fraction of what they claim. Do some research and talk to other employees if you can to find out what you can expect as an employee.
Basically, trust your gut. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!