Work from Home Scams and How to Avoid Them
Antonia Chitty of family friendly working
If you’re looking for work from home, are you aware of scams?
According to the OFT one in four adults have been contacted by work from home scammers. These scams are attempts to swindle money out of you by offering you a so-called profitable business opportunity that turns out not to be all it is advertised to be.
The OFT survey shows that 17 per cent of the adult population have been targeted in the last twelve months, and the incidence of such scams is rising. A typical work from home scam operates by advertising paid work from home in a local newspaper, shop windows or on a lamppost, with the promise of fast cash for minimal effort.
The catch is that you have to pay an upfront fee to the organiser, for example, for materials or for them to reveal their ‘secrets’. They take your money, but are unlikely to pay you for any work you do, or you may find that there is no work and instead only commission for getting other people to sign up.
If you are looking for home work and worried about getting scammed, the advice from the OFT is:
- If you reply to a job ad and are asked for money in advance, walk away.
- Before signing up to a work from home scheme, find out as much information as you can.
- Do a web search on the company and ask to speak to current workers.
(GfK poll of 1,993 people conducted over 8-10 January 2010 and 15-17 January 2010):