Want to work from home or make some extra money? Ads for work-at-home opportunities may appeal to you. But before you send in any money in response to an offer, check it out. Fraudulent promoters use the classifieds and the Internet to tout all kinds of work-at-home offers, from medical billing and envelope stuffing to assembly and craft work. Too often, these ads make promises about earnings, merchandise, or marketability that sound great, but aren’t truthful. The result: consumers can get ripped off.

To Do

If you’re thinking about following up on a work-at-home offer, do your homework. Here are some questions to ask:

  • What tasks will I be doing? Ask the program sponsor to list every step of the job.
  • Will I be paid a salary or will my pay be based on commission?
  • Who will pay me?
  • When will I get my first paycheck?
  • What is this going to cost me, including supplies, equipment and membership fees? What do I get for my money?

The answers to these questions may help you determine whether a work-at-home program is appropriate for you, and whether it’s legit.

You also might want to check out the company with your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General’s Office, and the Better Business Bureau, not only where the company is located, but also where you live. These organizations can tell you whether people have lodged complaints about the work-at-home program that interests you. But be wary: the absence of complaints doesn’t necessarily mean the company is legitimate. Unscrupulous companies may settle complaints, change their names, or move to avoid detection.

File a Complaint

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