How To Recognize a Scam

How To Recognize a Scam

Home employment seekers are often targeted by unethical predators. Learn the warning signs of a scam and how to protect yourself.

Here’s the headline from a neat little flyer in this morning’s mail: “You Can Make $1,734 Each Week Working Part Time From The Beach!”

I found my mind lazily drifting to a familiar scene.

Ahhhhhh… the Yucatan Peninsula. Tiny droplets of water coalesced on the outside of my glass in the warm tropical breeze. They sparkled and cascaded in luscious streams down the side of my glass before falling onto the brilliant white sand below.

The rum in my drink was cleverly concealed in the enticingly sweet mixture of coconut and kiwi. My mind was dreamily transcendent in the warm tropical air.

Though the alcohol in my drink was evasively masked, the roll of hundred dollar bills in my right pocket was becoming more uncomfortable with the passing of each blissful second. I would have to find a way to spend this burden before long. I considered scuba diving, or perhaps I should go ahead and buy that yacht and THEN scuba dive.

Do you see why these headlines work? Your favorite fantasy is skillfully evoked by the trickster behind the headline. The lure of easy money and playful days is hard to resist.

The scam artist always goes straight for your wallet!

A legitimate work at home opportunity does not require any money up front before you will get more details regarding the opportunity.

It works like this. First, the scammer will entice you with easy money, easy work, and tell you to imagine “what will you do first with all that money? Pay off bills, buy a new car, take a vacation?” Then, they ask for $49 “just to prove you are serious” or $29 for the “work-at-home kit” which includes “everything you need to get started.”

Real work at home jobs leave nothing to the imagination.

Everything is up front. You know exactly what you’re getting, how you get it, how to do it, use it, stretch it, stand on it, twirl it. You get the idea.

You can also reach someone with your questions, either online, by e-mail or phone.

Now let’s dig a little deeper. Let’s say, for example, you are looking for a typing job you can do at home. What can you expect from the employer?

It’s all about your qualifications.

Real employers seeking a freelancer or telecommuter will ask for qualifications. They will require proof that you’re qualified. This is done by looking at your resume, through references, phone interviews, by submitting examples of your work, and so on. Essentially, you will give up your time in the beginning, not your money.

But, let’s face it, it’s not always easy to spot a scam. Con artists can be very convincing. If you think you’ve been a victim, take action and report fraud to the proper authorities.

Working independently from home is one of the most rewarding lifestyles you can have. However, you won’t find your opportunity in an advertisement where the dollar signs are wielded like candy on Halloween night.

Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.

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