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Avoid Work from Home Scams

Keller Hawthorne | April 9, 2009 | 11 Comments
Why Make Your Living Online

Even I Was Not Immune

Warning Sign

When I first decided to start making money online, I fell into some of the newbie traps (SCAMS) that many of us face when learning how to work from home. Some of those scams included online surveys, email processing, chain letters, etc. I had no clue how the Internet worked and how money was really made online, but I was willing to listen to the so-called “experts.” Needless to say, I wasted a lot of time, energy and hope on those crap business schemes, but you don’t have to.

I want to discuss a couple of the scams you will probably come across (if you haven’t already) during your search for how to make money online. By the way, your search can stop HERE! I created FresheVenture for you, so please stay a while. You will find a lot of resources here on how to grow your own successful online business.

Online Surveys

Have you fallen for this one too? That’s right; yours truly fell for this one years ago. All you have to do is pay a company $30 and they’ll hook you up with the best and highest paying survey companies. You could make thousands a month just answering questions – NOT! Real market research companies that conduct surveys actually invite participants. For example, I was asked to join a survey discussion at a market research company in Sacramento, CA. They paid me $75 in cash and all I had to do was give them my opinion. So, could I make a full-time income from this? NO! After participating they let me know I wouldn’t be eligible to take another survey for 3 months. Why? Because they are looking for unbiased opinions. They don’t want people who just want to be paid. They are legitimate companies that offer market research to large clients and the information obtained from their surveys must be credible.

The scammers that promote this type of work from home opportunity actually make their money by fooling you out of your money. Once you pay them, they’ll spam your email or you’ll never hear from them again. They don’t have the “hook up” for legitimate surveys.

Other online survey scams offer free merchandise or gift certificates. How this works is you spend 10 or 15 minutes filling out a survey. At the end, you’re told you will receive a special gift, BUT you have to either sign up for or even PAY to receive a magazine subscription or something similar. When you decline, you’re left with no reward and time lost. Just say no to online surveys! Trust me; they aren’t worth your time.

Chain Emails

I’m embarrassed to say this is another one I fell for. I found an ad online for a “unique home based business opportunity.” I replied to the ad and received an email. The email told me for only $15, I could start making a full-time income from home. Hey, that’s not a lot of money, so I sent the payment. What I got were instructions on how to create an ad just like the one I responded to and duplicate the email I was originally sent. Basically, I would need to place the ad on online classifieds. When someone responded, I would send them the email I was given and ask for $15. The new sucker would then send me their hard-earned income and I would become rich.

I felt VIOLATED! I was completely suckered and I was out $15. I also felt scared. I had invested in a scam and I couldn’t just click the “back button” and get out of it. For the next year, I continued to receive large amounts of spam.

There are plenty of eBooks, E-Courses, and websites that offer fantastic information on how to create a successful online business and many do require you to pay for that information. But, they also provide plenty of FREE information. Information about how their program works, what you will receive, etc. They normally offer a free newsletter you can subscribe to or a blog with tons of free information that will help you determine if they know what they’re talking about. Please don’t ever send money to someone who says they can make you rich, but can’t tell you how.

Signs to Look For

There are a lot more scams out there that I haven’t discussed, but fortunately there are warning signs that can you help you differentiate them from the legitimate business opportunities. A scam normally offers vague or NO INFORMATION on how the program works. A scam will ask for MONEY UPFRONT without explaining what you’re paying for. A scam will claim you can make money in a particular trade like medical billing with NO EXPERIENCE. And a scam will FEEL FUNNY. That’s right, feel funny. Listen to your gut – it’s usually right.

Legitimate Business Opportunities

There are a ton of legitimate online business opportunities and you don’t have to pay to find out what they are. Normally, you learn about these opportunities through websites like mine, FresheVenture, newsletters, white papers, e-courses, eBooks, etc. Legitimate opportunities include building an online store, becoming an affiliate, blogging, etc. To learn about what I believe are the best online business opportunities, check out my article section titled “How You Can Make Money Online.”

Have you been scammed? What advice can you give to the rest of us on how to avoid those scams?

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