In a market where Americans are scrambling to find jobs, any jobs, ads promising to pay you thousands of dollars a week to work at home can be tempting. But are they believable?
It may be best to stay skeptical, according to the 2009 Consumer Action Handbook from the Federal Citizen Information Center.
General Consumer Tips
“As a savvy consumer, you should always be on the alert for shady deals and scams,” the handbook advises. A deal that sounds too good to be true usually is, and just as you might be wary about promises to fix your credit problems or deals that let you skip credit card payments, you should be wary about work-at-home job opportunities as well.
Are They Legit?
To figure out whether a work-at-home opportunity is legitimate, a company should be willing to provide you with some basic information and deliver on their promises. Don’t be tempted simply by promises that you’ll be a part of one of America’s fastest growing businesses.
“Legitimate work-at-home program sponsors should tell you, in writing, what’s involved in the program they are selling,” the handbook says.
Here’s what you should ask yourself before you make any commitments.
- What will your work consist of? A company should be willing to list every step of the job you’ll do.
- How will you be paid? Will it be a salary or based on commission, who will pay you and when?
- What upfront costs will you incur? Will you need supplies or equipment or need to pay a membership fee?
- What is the company’s track record?
- What does it sell and who are its customers?
- Does it have the evidence to back up the claims it makes about its product?
- Have you studied all the documents you’ve received regarding the business?
- Do you have their earnings claims in writing?
- Does the company have an official relationship with the manufacturer of its products? If you’re not sure, check with the company’s legal department.
- Finally, you may want to consult an attorney, accountant or other advisor before you put down any money or your signature.
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