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Iâ€™d really like to work at home, but I understand there are a lot of scams out there regarding businesses you can operate out of your house. What should I watch out for?
Youâ€™re right, you have to be careful when looking for work you can do at home.
One time-honored scam says you can make big bucks by stuffing envelopes. But it often involves not only stuffing the envelopes, but also generating the leads so you have people to whom you can send those envelopes. Another says you can make money by assembling crafts at home. But when you return the projects, they are not perfect enough (no matter how exactly you followed the directions); the seams are a hundredth of an inch off, the feathers arenâ€™t attached perfectly. Then youâ€™ve put out your time and energy, and you donâ€™t get paid.
Yet another red flag is companies that ask you to send money before they give you any product.
According to Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to Work You Love, the Federal Trade Commission has identified these scams as the most popular:
1.Â Business opportunities scams
2.Â Make money by sending bulk e-mail
3.Â Chain letters
4.Â Work-at-home schemes
5.Â Health and diet scams
6.Â Easy money
7.Â Get something free
8.Â Investment opportunities
9.Â Cable de-scrambler kits
10.Â Guaranteed loans or credit, or easy terms scams
11.Â Credit repair scams
12.Â Vacation prize promotions
â€œThe punch line... which you've heard from us many times before... If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,â€ says Miller. â€œFurther, don't buy anything via bulk e-mail (spam). Your chances of being scammed are astronomical.â€ He also recommends checking Scam Watch (www.scamwatch.com
) before getting involved with a company.
There are legitimate ways to make money at home, however. Your best bet is to work with your network and see what has worked for local people you know.