By Tony Jacowski
Work at home scams are one of the fantabulous creations of criminal minds. Some of them are so very cleverly designed that, barring a few which are blatant, they appear very legitimate. Preying on weak people that are starved for money, these scam masters target vulnerable people through ads run in newspapers and Internet classifieds.
Escaping these scams means not taking the bait and calls for lots of grit and analytical thinking so as not to miss to miss a genuine opportunity. The aim of this article is not to list opportunities but to help you to develop a more critical line of thinking.
How Work at Home Scams Operate
What you must keep in mind is that scam operators take refuge under the premise that running an ad, even under false pretenses, is not tantamount to breaking the law. This is because at any point in time, any opportunity is possible in theory. Plus, the ads are very carefully worded, probably in consultation with legal experts.
1. Suspect any offers and ads that promise huge sums of money for a peanut of an investment. Ads that dont make economic sense will not stand the scrutiny of time and common sense. If you fall for this type of ad, the operator will have made money and you will have lost yours.
2. If you are asked to pay for any kind of registration or membership, test them by asking to reduce the amount of your first payment I guarantee that they will refuse. Ask for references, someone that you can talk to, in the area that you live in. I suspect even this will be met with a cold response or a refusal.
3. The mother of work-at-home scams started with MLM (multi-level-marketing), the so-called high paying job. (With due respect to genuine companies, we are talking about scams one.) MLM works on the theory of passing on the marketing cost to the consumer against all purchases. Sounds good, doesnt it! What they dont tell you is you need to invest a lot of effort plus a lot of money to see any income. Additionally, you get this chain started only when you have a threshold number of customers under you (called downline,) and they purchase some minimum amount of goods regularly. Well, why wont this work? Number one: the payback theory works if payback occurs instantaneously, not a month later. Number two: The goods are either expensive or worthless. Number three: Your returns are only proportional to your downline. Number four: Costly maintenance (training workshops and seminars.)
4. The best way to begin to work at home is to look around for jobs in your town. If someone across the country can hire you, why not a real company in the city where you live? You can judge your employer by meeting them in person.
Avoiding the lure of work-at-home scams is all about applying the common-sense test. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions Six Sigma Online (http://www.sixsigmaonline.org) offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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