Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Prepare: Be careful about "work from home jobs"

Most of us want a way to earn extra money. Our job is insecure. The economy is rocky. Even in good times it seems like we work harder and earn less than before. Don't get started about the cost of working. The clothing, the commute, the stress, meals out and time.

The idea of "working from home" appeals to many. Wake up, check the computer, fax or voice mail while drinking home brewed coffee in your PJ's. Sounds great right?

The problem is so many are allured by that dream that they fall for some real bamboozle scams. You know, the late night commercial junk with the scenes of tropical vacations, boats, new cars and big houses all paid for by a "work from home career".

Here's the deal. Those ads on tv and all over the internet ("work for Google!" is my personal favorite scam) are scams for the most part. Here are some popular ones to avoid.

Like I mentioned, "Work for Google posting links! Make $300 - 500 a day!".
First, Google is not hiring anyone to "post links". Check Google's website and find out for yourself. Second, with that kind of money, any self respecting sweatbox software factory in India or the Philippines would be cranking that system everyday and cornering the market if it were true.

These "Google products" are actually high priced monthly memberships to fly by night companies which promise to teach members how to "make money online". Read the Terms and Conditions and see that each charges a high monthly fee, usually around $70.00 and do not guarantee that anyone will make money.

Completing surveys at home. Everyone has heard of this one. Fill out surveys for popular companies and get paid $25 a pop. However, when you see one of these ads, read the small print. What you get for your $47.00 payment is not a list of juicy surveys to fill out, but a list of companies who may or may not be offering survey work. Some are just more list sellers who will try to sell you on another make money system.

Some companies do pay for surveys, but most surveys take 15 to 20 minutes and pay anywhere from .25 to 2.00 a piece. In addition, you have to give a great deal of personal information such as your income, address and phone number. Not worth it for a buck or two.

Phone support or customer service from home. This field has taken off and there are bone fide opportunities in this industry. However, most people who work in this field have some sort of experience in phone work. What's more, the jobs are always very part time, such as 10 hours or so a week. And the hours fluctuate. While some are mornings or afternoons, they often are after hours jobs with work time between 7PM and early morning. A phone, internet connection and quiet work environment are required which is difficult if children and pets are in the house. What's more, the money is generally around minimum wage. Don't quit your day job.

Stuffing envelopes. This job rumor started in the 1960's along with "small parts assembly". While some people have made extra money with the "envelope stuffing job", the reality is most companies can outsource this work to big mail delivery companies who hire dozens of temp workers on the spot or use machines to do the job now.

Even if someone did pay a home worker to stuff envelopes, the actual cost would have to be hardly anything to make it cost affective. Not worth the time or trouble.

Foreclosed properties. There are lots of houses for sale right now and everyone knows someone who has made money "flipping houses". Before buying some real estate course online, check among friends and family and find someone who actually has bought, renovated and sold a second home. It ain't easy.

What's more, the individual investor is competing against some big companies out there. A good friend has been with a large "home investment group" for several years and because of their network, money and backing, they find out about cherry properties long before Mom and Pop get the news. What's more, is these companies have the business contacts to actually buy and sell a property in days rather than months like the rest of us.

Most of all, never pay for a job. There are so many scam artists who will promise big riches for the "work at home dream" because they know what people want. And these scam artists always want a large fee up front and a contract which benefits them, but never you.

Be careful.

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