How to Spot a Work from Home Scam

There are many legitimate ways to earn money working from home. There are also a lot of scams that are there to take your hard-earned money without providing real value. Like most people who try to make an income from home, I fell prey to a scam or two. My intention here is to show you how you can avoid the same traps and pitfalls that many fall into.

High Income and Lavish Lifestyle

You land on a website which shows you a video or images which depict a lavish lifestyle. The trick is to lure you into believing that you can enjoy lying on the beach while your computer does all the work for you. It’s never going to happen.

You probably landed on that website because you’re looking for ways to improve your finances. Instead, you’re just going to make your situation worse because of all the money they are going to bleed out of you.

Laptop Lifestyle

If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

High Paying Jobs with Little Effort

In this scenario, the scammer contacts you by letter, email or phone and offers you a job which requires little effort for high returns. The initial contact could even be from a friend who has fallen victim to the scam and doesn’t realize it yet.

The job could be something simple like stuffing envelopes. Whatever it is, it’s something that could conceivably be done by anyone without any particular skills.

To get the job you have to part out with some of your own money upfront. You’ll need to buy something from the scammer such as materials or training or something else.

Then after you complete your assignment they refuse to pay you because your work was not up to their standard. So they’ve got your money and your work and it hasn’t cost them a dime.

You should never have to pay to get a job.

Transcribe Audio

Yes, this is real work and real money and they offer payment per minute. Sounds good. At 60 minutes in an hour that could be pretty good money for an hour’s work.

But it’s not an hour’s work. To transcribe the audio to their ‘satisfaction’ takes much more time than one minute’s work for one minute’s audio time. And the payment is for the audio time not the work time. If it pays $1 per minute of audio time and it takes 20 minutes to transcribe the audio then that works out at $3 an hour.

These are just speculative numbers here. The real payment and time involved could vary a lot.

And they only give a very short amount of audio (measured in seconds) out at a time which has to be completed satisfactorily before they give you the next assignment.

Exit Popups

Just as you’re about to leave the page a popup appears offering you a huge discount. Now, why didn’t they offer that in the first place? That sort of thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. They can’t be trusted and that’s a good reason for you to stay away from that ‘opportunity’.

You can be sure that they would still be making a bucket-load of cash at the discounted price plus all the extras that they’ll con you into once you buy.


One of the sure ways to spot a scam is by the sheer volume of fake testimonials. Sure some genuinely happy customers will offer a testimonial but the scammers can get their testimonials, both written and video, from sites like Fiverr.

They pay for positive testimonials from folks who have never even heard of the product or service, let alone tried it.

It seems like the more testimonials they put on the sales page the more likely it is to be a scam.

Positions Available in Your Local Area

Heck yeah! Their website can determine where you live and tell you that positions are available in your town. It’s known as geo-targeting.

Geo targeting

Geo-targeting can fool you into believing that whatever they’re selling can work for you in your home town, wherever in the world your home town may be.

False Scarcity Tactics

This can be a ruse to encourage you to buy before you have a chance to properly check out the opportunity. The website may say “only x number available at this special price”. Or there’s a count-down timer pushing you into making a hurried decision.

Count Down Timer

Don’t be fooled. Take your time with any opportunity that’s presented to you to check it out carefully before making a commitment.

Money Back Guarantees

They make a big feature out of their ‘money back’ guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied. Sounds good. But after you give them your credit card details to purchase they hit you with the upsells. You know the sort of thing; the product/service will work so much better, quicker, etc. if you purchase the add-on package. By the time they’ve finished with their offers, you’re so far out of pocket. And the money back guarantee is usually only for the initial purchase not the upsells.

Of course, if they ever do issue a refund it’s no skin off their nose because it’s a digital product and costs no more to make 10,000 than it does to make 10.

And they’ve still got your credit card details and your email address.

$1 Trial

The trick here is that you’re signing up for a monthly subscription which is way more than $1 a month. Sometimes these subscriptions are hard to cancel and the money is jumping out of your credit card every month until you figure it out.

If it’s not a free trial then you can expect it to cost you a lot more in the long run.

Privacy Policy, Disclaimers, etc.

All work from home opportunities should have certain information available. This includes a privacy policy, earnings disclaimer, contact, about us, etc. If these are missing or hard to find then alarm bells should be ringing. Buying on the internet requires trust. How can you trust anyone if you don’t know who they are or how they will use your personal information?

My Recommendation

If you’re serious about making money from home then my recommendation is to start a business instead of finding a job. And the best business you can start from home is affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing

If you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing then start my free 10 step mini-course which includes a practice website so you can see if it’s a good fit for you. It includes a free trial membership. And you won’t need your credit card until (and if) you decide to go further.

Learn How To Spot A Scam

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