Wealth, speed, ethics — when it comes to money, you can only pick two. When it comes to working from home, it’s very likely that you won’t get a chance to even pick one of them. That’s because most opportunities to make money from home are simply scams.
While there are some ways to make money from home, there are more ways to get scammed than there are authentic opportunities for profit. Below are seven work at home scams that are quite popular but not always easy to spot. We’ve done the hard work for you, so check them out.
A Personal E-Store!
Quite a few scams involve you paying your future “employer” a certain sum of money only to find out… well… your employer has pocketed that money and you’ll never hear from him again. A certain variation of this scam incorporates you paying to create an “e-store” – supposedly to cover domain and website construction fees. Pretty dumb, right?
Hypothetically, you can cash in from a percentage of the products sold from this site, so your job is to simply promote the site as much as possible. Realistically, you aren’t going to make anything off this, and naturally, you shouldn’t ever pay for yourself to make money.
Your Favorite Nigerian Prince…
Nigeria, oh, Nigeria. You probably know the scam, already. A Nigerian prince/widow/businessman/orphan/king writes to you saying he must deposit a vast amount of money in the U.S. while he deals with political issues, and he would like to use your account to do so. He’ll even pay you a nice sum to make it happen!
Except he needs a deposit from you to make sure he knows you are legit. And something bad is going to eventually happen, requiring more money from you than just the original deposit. Oh, and you’ll never see this money again. Basically, if it’s from Nigeria, don’t even answer the email. There are plenty of variations of the old scam to go around.
An Advance On Your Paycheck
Everybody likes money. Everybody likes money without having to work right away, too. So let’s say that your e-employer says he’ll pay you an advance on your paycheck. Cool, right? You get the check, deposit it, and there’s no problem. Until your employer says he needs the money back because something didn’t go quite right. So you send him the money, expecting the advance payment fairly soon.
However, the issue with this is that the initial payment was a fake check. Your bank wouldn’t know right away, so it may seem like a proper deposit for a day or two. When you send the money back to the scammer, well… All he has to do is cash it at his local grocery store, and you’re the one left answering to your bank.
Call 1-900-XXX-XXXX For More Info!
It’s time for the phone interview — your new employer just wants you to call in, though. A 1-900 number? You’ve probably never heard of one. There’s a good reason for that. 1-900 numbers aren’t toll-free. Much like any pay-to-talk phone line (think of something along the lines of those “singles chat lines” you see on late night TV), 1-900 numbers charge you for however long you stay on them.
Scammers use these numbers to have unwitting victims call in while they cash in. Of course, some of the fees go to your phone company, but a big chunk of it ends up in the scammer’s pockets, too.
Here, Deposit This Check…
Much like receiving an advance on your first paycheck, some scammers will hire you as a “financial manager” to cash checks and then wire the money abroad (or wherever they may be). Unfortunately, the checks are completely worthless, but your bank won’t know that until it’s too late. To make matters worse, your name will be the one tied to things, and unfortunately, you’ll be responsible for everything.
With that said, just ignore anything that requires you to use your personal bank account for anything. Don’t do it. Just don’t.
You’ll Need To Pay A Registration Fee First
The classic “pay to start” scam comes in yet another form. This time around, you have to pay a non-refundable registration fee. It’s quite simple, really. Pay a small amount (say, $50?) to apply, turn in your application, and wait to hear back from the head honcho.
However, you may hear from the head honcho, and you may not hear from the head honcho. Either way, though, you’re not getting the job. You’ll either just not receive a response or you will get one saying you didn’t get the job. Bummer, man.
Just Pay For The Supplies!
Again, there’s another scam that involves paying to get started. With this, you are required to pay for the supplies required to make simple products such as dolls, toy cars, or other similar items. You can then sell these items. Kind of seems authentic, but let’s be honest: it isn’t.
In all truth, you are the one paying for the product. Legal? Completely. Unfortunately, it won’t work out for you. Only pay for supplies if you know you have a market.
The Only Get-Rich-Quick Scheme That Works
I didn’t feel right publishing this article without telling you the only get-rich-quick scheme that works. Folks, it’s always been out there, but I’m about to tell you the secret right here on MakeUseOf. Best of all, you won’t have to pay me! I’m giving it to you for free!*
The only get-rich-scheme that works is… having people pay you to help them get rich quick. As you can tell, all of these scams above involve some form of investment, and while unethical, it certainly is profitable. Do it if you want, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to sleep well at night.
What other make-money-from-home scams do you know about? Have you ever fallen victim to such scam? Tell us all about them!
*With an additional fee of $9.99 per month after reading this article. Local taxes and some legal attorney fees may apply.