Work from Home Scams And How To Spot Them

Pick up your local paper, visit the shops, surf the net or even just look at business cards stuck to bus shelters, they’re everywhere.

What am I talking about?

Work from home opportunities of course.

Most of them sound amazing too.

For example, there is one in my local newspaper today offering –

Enjoy the benefits of working from home and being your own boss whilst earning the amount you need to enjoy the lifestyle you deserve. This business is easy, fun and exciting. No need to ever set your alarm clock again, no need to have a boss ever tell you what to do again. No staff, no overheads, no selling and the pleasure of working from the comfort of your own home. Easily earn £30000 a year.

By now, if you have been reading the other posts here, you will know that nothing is ever that simple.

The scam here is that you will need to part with any money before you can start making some.

This would be in the form of registration fees, purchasing products up front or calling a premium rate number for further information.

More often than not you will discover, after paying, that either there is no work currently available or that you will not get paid for any that you have already done.

In my local area alone I have seen 4 such “opportunities” available today alone.

Two required registration via premium rate numbers and the other two required ringing a mobile number for further information.

Here’s a few examples –

Stuffing envelopes : This one is brilliant in a twisted kind of way – you pay a high registration fee to be taught how to place a letter in an envelope! Moreover, the content of the letter is an invitation to other “opportunity seekers” to join in the scam. Yes, you’re creating junk mail and helping to entice others into this con.

Home assembly kits : Here you pay top price in advance for your materials. Around where I live at this time of year making candles has been a favourite product. The materials you receive are of poor quality, ensuring you make a sub-standard product which the scammer can then easily reject or suddenly announce that you have to sell yourself. Of course, your product is inferior and more expensive than anything in the shops so either way, you lose.

Home working directories : For a nominal registration fee of £10 (often more!) you will receive a variety of work at home opportunities. What they don’t mention though is that this is just a directory of other companies promoting these and other scams too.

So how do you know if a work at home offer is a scam?

  • you will be asked for money up front
  • the rewards will be great for simple tasks
  • the only contact with the company will be via mobile phone numbers and post office boxes
  • the original advert will be vague as to what is involved

Our advice?

Be sceptical, ask plenty of questions and never pay a fee up front.

A genuine company should not be asking you to pay them and should be happy to disclose information about themselves and the tasks involved.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. Not at this time Mitch though it’s something I may diversify into looking at in the future.

  2. Can you advise on good work at home jobs?

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