How To Avoid Home Based Business Scams

By Debra Cohen, - In Entrepreneurs

Picture of people with ahy on their back

Photo Credit: quiltsalad

My father used to tell me “When something comes in like fireworks, run the other way”.  His advice rings true (on so many levels!) but particularly when someone is looking for a legitimate home based business opportunity.

The internet, coupled with a sluggish economy have made home-based business opportunity seekers more vulnerable than ever to unscrupulous companies and individuals peddling work-at-home scams and get rich quick schemes. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom looking for a way to make money from home while raising your family, someone looking for a second income, a career changer or a retiree, I’m sure you’ve come across websites or business opportunities promising that you’ll make thousands of dollars each month with very little effort.

And, there’s a big difference between work-at-home opportunities vs. home-based businesses.  When you launch a home based business, you are the owner and work for yourself.  When someone offers you the opportunity to work from home, you work for them.  And, as a rule of thumb, if you find a business opportunity, distributorship, licensee opportunity or franchise that offers you the opportunity to work-from-home for their company but they require that you pay money to them first, beware.  These are generally scams.

Below is a short list of some of the most notorious online “work-from-home schemes”.  If you’re searching for a home based businesses online and feel confident that one of these opportunities is the right fit for you, I advise you to do your research and ask questions!

  • Envelope stuffing
  • Craft/product assembly
  • Rebate processing
  • Claims processing
  • Multi-level marketing companies where money is generated solely as a result of your recruitment of others
  • Posting ads online
  • Check cashing
  • Contract typing where you pay for a lead list of potential clients
  • Name and address collection services
  • Mystery shoppers

The bottom line is that the rewards of operating your own home based business are tremendous but they require time and effort.  If a company or website promises overnight riches consider it “fireworks” and run the other way.