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How to Recognize and Avoid Work-at-Home Scams

The web is full of too-good-to-be-true jobs that target moms and others who want to work from home. Here's how to steer clear of them.

by Dory Devlin  |  10490 views  |  2 comments  |        Rate this now! 

Use reputable web sites to find and vet work-at-home opportunities. There are work-from-home jobs that will provide the flexibility and pay many are seeking, but you've got to do some research to make sure they are legitimate. To check out a company, start with the Better Business Bureau. If you've got a sneaky feeling that a work-from-home job ad is really a scam, you may find it at, which gathers info on all kinds of online and offline scams. And you'll have a better shot of finding legit opportunities on sites that have women's best interests in mind and vet ads on their sites. Women For Hire is one, and you'll find some good advice on how to avoid scams on the site, too. Homebased Working Moms is another site that has been focused for nearly a decade on helping women find rewarding, well-paying work-at-home opportunities.

Lesley Spencer Pyle, who founded Homebased Working Moms in 1995, says they research companies that place ads on the site with the Better Business Bureau, "but it's not foolproof." So good judgment reins. She does suggest if after you do your research and decide to pay money up front for materials or business kits (which I'm not convinced is ever a good idea), use a credit card so you can dispute the charges with the credit card company if a refund is necessary.

If you do seek a work-from-home opportunity, make sure you get paid what your experience and time is worth. You'll find some pointers on how to negotiate pay for a flexible job here.


About the Author

Dory Devlin is the Work+Money editor on Yahoo! Shine. Check out Shine Work+Money here.

Read more by Dory Devlin

2 comments so far...

  • I was so sick of online scammers trying to contact me that I write an article titled "Mom Scams" and posted it on my blog. Here is the link to the article.

    Here is a good tip that I use from time to time. If an online scammer happens to get you on the phone, try this. Say, "Hold on just a minute while I turn on my recorder for my protection."

    An online scammer will hang up on you immediately and a nonscammer will not.


    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Catherine on 31st July 2012

  • I am glad and thankful for your article, because it enlightened me a lot. I could already have processed my registration fee, but I had second thoughts. Reading your article was timely for me. Thanks!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Ate Shai on 26th July 2008