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Don’t get scammed by work-at-home job offers

People are bombarded daily with advertisements for work-at-home jobs and they’re tempting. While they may promise easy money and flexible hours, many of these opportunities are run by scammers trying to empty your wallet. Your Better Business Bureau offers tips regarding work-at-home opportunities.

Many job seekers look for a quick solution with a work-at-home opportunity. Last year, BBBs across North America received more than 551,000 inquiries about work-at-home companies, up over 8,400 since 2011. Your BBB received nearly 2000 complaints about the industry last year.

In some work-at-home schemes, con artists, posing as employers, will trick people into providing personal information, such as bank account and Social Security numbers, supposedly as part of the application process. Scammers use the information to steal identities. Other scams involve people performing tasks, such as processing payments, transferring funds or reshipping products. In reality, scammers are using people to cash phony checks, transfer illegally-obtained funds for criminals or receive stolen merchandise and ship it to criminals.

Your Better Business Bureau offers these work-at-home tips:

• Get all details, including earnings claims and cancellation and refund policies, in writing.

• Find out exactly what you have to do, what the total cost is and who’ll pay you.

• Get references from at least ten people who’ve been successful.

• Don’t feel pressured to make a decision immediately.

• Do your research. Beware if you’re asked for money upfront. Legitimate companies won’t charge an employee a fee to work. Once money is sent, you get little, if anything, in return.

• Look out for overstated claims of effectiveness, exaggerated claims of potential earnings and claims of inside information and no experience necessary.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you’ve spent money on a work-at-home opportunity and you believe it’s not legitimate, contact the company and ask for a refund. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at or call (877) FTC-HELP.

Your BBB can also help. It can assist with complaints about work-at-home companies. You can also check companies out with your BBB by visiting or calling (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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