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How To Spot A Work-from-Home Scam

Updated November 8, 2020

More folks are looking for a job or a business they can do from home. And in a quest to start bringing in money fast before bill collectors start calling, some people are willing to give the benefit of the doubt to whatever opportunity comes their way.

Scammers take advantage of people who need to make money like yesterday. They know people are willing to give even the ridiculous a try when their backs are against the wall.

They’ve been doing it for years and aren’t going away any time soon.

Not only that, scammers are getting creative with their ads, making them look like the real deal.

The ads look legitimate and the money they claim you can make is damn good. People start to think that maybe – just maybe they hit the jack pot.

How do I know this? Well, you can say that I know from personal experience.

My first so-called “work-from-home” job was typing ads and turns out it was a scam. And the reason why I couldn’t see it was because I was the person I just described. I was that someone with their backs against the wall who needed to make money quick before the bills start piling up.

It Went Something Like This:

The ad I answered on a well-known job search site went something like this:

“Small company looking for individuals to work as independent contractors to place ads on job search sites.” Looks innocent enough, right? I applied, even did a phone interview.

During the interview the “interviewer” told me since I was working as an independent contractor, it was considered self-employed. For me to get the materials to start working, I had to send in $5.

And there was the red flag but the way she spinned it, it made sense to invest in my “business.”

I sent in the $5 and got the materials by email and that’s when I realized I screwed up big time!

When I opened the materials, I couldn’t believe what I was reading! It went something like this:

“Thanks for joining….yada, yada, yada.

All you have to do is place the same ad you answered on different job search sites. If anyone answers your ad, interview them, ask for the $5 and email them the materials you just received.”

Can you believe that sh*t?!?

I stared at my screen – literally with my jaw dropped and I started thinking about the single moms and retired seniors who are probably sending in their last $5 hoping this is the thing that will bring in some money. I couldn’t live with myself knowing I stole from them just because I needed to make money.

Needless to say, I didn’t do anything with it. I chalked it up to a learning experience but that’s when I decided to start blogging about legit ways to make money from home. I guess you can say something good came out of that.

Thank goodness I was only scammed out of $5 but imagine how many people replied to their ad and sent in the $5 as well?

Angela’s Close Call With A Work-From-Home Scam

A couple of years ago, my friend Angela McCall had a job opportunity to work-from-home.

She called me about the details because she wasn’t sure if it was the real deal or not and right away the red flags jumped right at me. After doing more research and asking questions to the ‘owner’ of the business, she realized the job was a scam.

She tells us all about it on her blog. Here’s her vlog about it too:


How to spot a work-from-home scam

Scammers are savvy and create ads that can really make anyone believe they’ve hit the mother-load of online jobs.

Here are some warning signs that the job listing you’re reading might be a scam.

The Ad Claims You Can Make Hundreds If Not Thousands A Week

Jobs or online business opportunities exaggerating pay rate. A typical ad would go something like this: “Make $500 a day typing from home.” “Earn $1,000 a week working in your PJs.” “I earn $25,000 a month! Let me show you my secret to success.”

No Contact Information Is Available

There’s no contact information available only an email address. If the email address is with a Gmail or Hotmail account I would stay away from those. A legitimate company or representative of that company will have an email address like or

No physical address is listed. Even if the recruiter wants to meet at a coffee shop for an interview ask where they’re office is and get an address.

If you happen to be located in the same city, take a drive and see what you find. For a company located elsewhere check out this website called RBA Information Services to do research on international companies.

No phone number. Ask for call back information such as the name of the person contacting you about the job and company listed phone number – not a mobile number.

What you can do to avoid being scammed

There are some things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of  scam like these four things:

#1 Do Your Research

Do your research. If it’s a company you’ve never heard of do your homework and find out about them. You can also check out consumer sites like Ripoff Report to learn about any scams out there.

#2 Ask Questions

Ask questions like how long they’ve been in business. And ask for contact information like an address and telephone number. Get all the information you want. If they’re legit they won’t hesitate to give you the info you’re looking for.

#3 Take Notes

Take good notes. Write down who you talked to by phone and what was said. Think of “who, what, when, where, why”.

Who did you talk to. What was said. When will they call back or follow up and where and why if it applies. Also, save any emails you receive, too.

#4 Trust Your Gut

And last but not least, go with your gut. If it seems too good to be true then it probably is.

There You Have It

I hope this post will help you spot a work-from-home scam the next time you’re looking for a legit remote job. Good luck!

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