Optimistic people scour the web daily in search of work from home opportunities. Job seekers desiring to work at home run the gamut from the unemployed to those who are looking for an additional income stream to stay at home moms hoping to contribute a little extra income to the family budget. Sadly, what many encounter are shady employment ads that are deliberately concocted to rob the unsuspecting of money, personal information and time. This may lead some to believe that all home office jobs are scams, which simply is not true.
Kate Lister of the Teleresearch Network estimates that as many as three million people work remotely. In their 2009 report on the Status of Telework in the Federal Government, the Bureau of Labor Statistics concluded that the federal government employs 190,000 people who telecommute. In considering these numbers, it is apparent that, despite the overwhelming amount of misleading advertisements, people are finding legitimate work from home opportunities.
Although a popular rumor exists that nearly 98% of all work at home jobs are scams, the truth is that this number more closely applies to job advertisements, not to actual jobs. In an October, 2009 transcript from CNN, Personal Finance Editor Gerri Willis advises job seekers to beware of misleading ads promising large paydays. Willis also advises against assuming that an advertisement is legitimate based solely upon the website it is advertised on. Often, reputable job websites, like Career Builder, which is mentioned by name in the warning, unknowingly broadcast remote job scams simply because they do not have the time to thoroughly investigate every employment ad found on their site. Based upon the reputation of a site, however, some applicants automatically assume that the telecommute jobs posted there are legitimate, which is an assumption that often results in them being taken advantage of by scam artists.
Routinely, ads for home worker scams prompt federal investigators, as well as mainstream news outlets, to warn consumers against home work job ads, but not about legitimate work at home jobs for moms and others. By not noting the specific findings in these investigations or that there is a distinct difference between ads and jobs, many have concluded that legitimate work from home opportunities do not exist or that they are so rare that they are not worth searching for. Still, with several million people working from home in the U.S., it is clear that legitimate telecommuting jobs are not as rare as some may portray them to be. So where are these jobs and how can honest job seekers access them?
First, it is important to heed the warnings of experts to never pay to become an employee and to never agree to deposit money from an employer into a personal checking account before transferring funds elsewhere. Both of these are very popular work at home scams circulating the web these days with far-reaching consequences. After becoming educated on how to avoid work from home scams, job seekers would do well to consider some of the types of jobs that the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics cites as being among those that many employees perform at home. A few of these include:
Freelance Writers and Editors
Data Entry Operators
Next, visiting the websites of companies who hire remote employees, such as American Express, Jet Blue and AstraZeneca, job seekers can peruse ads directly from these trusted sources and even apply online. Other suggestions include visiting websites specializing in leads for home work opportunities and networking in forums where telecommuters congregate. While many appear to advertise work at home jobs for moms, the truth is that employers do not discriminate according to gender, sex or social status. In short, home office jobs that are attractive to stay at home moms are also remote job opportunities for everyone else.
Being poised to distinguish between deceitful advertisements and legitimate work from home opportunities opens up a brand new world of possibilities for people interested in this employment niche. Rumors based upon the fear that these ads create, however, lead many to believe the myth that all remote job offers are scams and, thus, people miss out on a really great opportunity to work in a home office environment. Those willing to accept the facts to the contrary while observing ways of spotting red flags are in a very good position for finding a decent home office job in the future.