NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Paid to Work at Home

Paid to Work at Home!

We’ve all seen them – ads advertising top dollar for working at home at a very, very easy job. Work from home job postings are everywhere. There are listings for data entry jobs, research positions, multi-level marketing opportunities, and a variety of other ways to make a lot of money fast. In fact, there are so many of them that work at home schemes are on the National Consumers League's list of Top 10 Frauds.

Unfortunately, most of those positions aren't what most people would consider a "real" job or any kind of job at all. There are no benefits, no hourly wage or salary, only a promise of making money. Sometimes these opportunities are supposedly so lucrative that fees are charged to give you the listings, provide you information on getting started, or to set up your business.

Typical “work from home” ads using phrases like, “$1000 A Day From Home”, “Automated - No Sales”, “Cash Money Every Day” or “Get Paid Daily via ATM”. Some ads do have a disclaimer in a tiny font at the bottom of the page which indicates there is risk involved and you might not do as well as the spokesperson in the ad.  To help you avoid these scammers, let’s review some of the most common and successful scams out there today.

Envelope stuffing. Envelope stuffing is one of the most popular scams. You won’t be stuffing envelopes. What you’ll be asked to do is place the same ad (at your own expense) that you responded to, in order to scam other people.

Email Processors. Email processing is the e-version of envelope stuffing. Typically, you pay person 1 a fee of between $5-30 and then person 1 sends you your ‘information kit’. This typically tells you how to take the exact same ad you replied to and send it out by email or on newsletters to convince others to send you the same fee you sent Person 1.

Home Typists (also Order Taker/Application Taker). There are lots of home typist positions that are perfectly legitimate, but these never ask you for a fee and they are also rarely advertised online. Don’t get suckered by ads that promise home typing work that require a fee. They are all variations on the email processing scam

Craft/Electronic Assembly. There are perfectly legitimate craft/assembly companies that do pay their home-based workers. Unfortunately, they are very hard to find. With most scams, you will be asked to pay anywhere from $10 to $200 for a test “kit.” You will then be sent something to assemble that, no matter how brilliantly done, will never meet their so-called quality standards. 

A real company offering a position — whether it be work at home or in an office — will ask to see your resume, probably want references, maybe want to see samples of your work, and might want to communicate by phone. If they don’t ask for any of these things, be careful! The simple answer to the question of whether you should pay for work from home job listings, in a word, is no. Despite what the work at home ads and companies might promise you, legitimate employers pay you, not the other way around.

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