Sometimes we get so caught up in how great an opportunity sounds that we don’t take a second to look at the bigger picture. Who wouldn’t want to make $1,000 a month for a mindless, menial task like stuffing envelopes or forwarding emails? But, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, right? So, how do you spot the scams from the legitimate money making opportunities?

1. Google It!

Whenever you type a company into Google, and it shows up on sites like or, that’s a pretty good indicator that it could be a scam. For instance, if you start to type in “Company Name” and the first results in Google are the sites just mentioned with that company name attached, you would be wise to check it out. Read reviews and find out what people are talking about and why they label it as a scam. Some are legitimate claims and are completely obvious, while others aren’t. Make your best judgment call.

2. Required to Pay a Start-up Fee

You shouldn’t have to pay to be a part of a company – they’re supposed to be paying you, not the other way around. Anything that requests that you pay a nominal fee to sign up as an affiliate should raise a red flag. Likewise, anything that requests that you send your banking information via email to verify your credit history and such (especially before you’ve even interviewed or spoken with a real person) should be an indicator that it probably isn’t a legitimate business.

Note: Some websites do require a one-time fee to join. These are membership sites that provide information on real work at home jobs, such as data entry or surveys. A small fee is required as it took the website owner/s a large amount of time to compile the information and resources that they’re providing. You’re paying for their time and instant access to the information that they collected in order to help you find an online job. Just because they may require a fee, don’t mistake all of these as scams.

3. Job Posting is Vague

Any job listing that has a lot of grammatical and spelling errors, and doesn’t clearly state what you’ll be doing, should make you turn your head in the other direction. An authentic opportunity will care about the message they are sending out to potential employees. You should expect the same high level of professionalism from a potential employer as they expect from you as a potential employee.

4. Guaranteed Thousands of Dollars Immediately

Unless you were born with the Midas touch, get-rich-quick schemes rarely work. It’s unlikely that you’ll be making as much as salaried employees at a big firm just from stuffing envelopes, distributing flyers or allowing someone to put graphics on your car while promising that all you have to do is drive your regular routes (if that were the case, wouldn’t we all work from home and have cars with other people’s businesses on them? I know I would!).

5. “Asked” Not to Leave

Anytime you go to click out of a website of a potential employer and a pop-up comes up asking if you’re sure you want to leave or telling you that they’ll discount the start-up cost for you if you sign up now, should make you question the ethics of the company. While it’s usually not a scam, do you really want to be involved with a company that is obviously desperate? Take time to consider whether you want to work with them or not.

Obviously, not all work at home opportunities are scams. Obviously you can be quite successful at working from home, but you also have to be willing to put in the time, and anything guaranteeing little to no work on your part with massive financial rewards should set off warning bells in your head. It’s easy to get caught up in dollar signs and the idea of getting rich quick, but it also isn’t realistic. So, be smart, do your due diligence by researching the company, and always keep in mind that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It may be a cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason.

Laura Backes enjoys writing about all kinds of subjects and also topics related to internet providers in my area.

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Filed under: make money onlineWork From Home

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