It’s true, the internet makes it easier than ever to work from the comfort of your home. Scammers know it’s a topic that’s in high demand and they take full advantage of it. A lot of people are under the impression that anything on the internet is legitimate, but that’s just not true.

Don’t Believe the Hype

Anything that sounds to good to be true probably is. If there’s a job promising to help you make thousands of dollars with little to no effort, it’s most likely a scam. Legitimate work at home jobs require just as much work as jobs outside the home.

Being the victim of a work at home scam could cost you thousands of dollars, on top of the time and energy you waste pursuing a nonexistent job.

Common Work at Home Scams

Some of the most common work at home scams include:

Check Processing

A play on the old Nigerian scam, some work at home scams require you to cash checks and wire part of the money back to the “employer.” A legitimate boss would be able to cash his own checks and you’d keep all the money for yourself.


In this scam, you’re “paid” to receive packages and reship them to another address, sometimes overseas. Usually, you’re repacking stolen goods or goods bought with a stolen credit card. The thief doesn’t want to be attached to the theft, so he uses you as the bait.

Envelope Stuffing, Craft Making, and other Pay Upfront Scams

There are a slew of work at home scams that request you to send money upfront for some kind of kit to get started. A real company wouldn’t make you send money to get started.

How to Avoid a Work at Home Scam

When you’re in a desperate situation, you can be easily fooled by promises to help you make money. But, remember that riches don’t come easily.

Do your due diligence on a company before deciding to work for them. Use Google or another search engine to find websites on the company. Add “scam” to the search to see if the company has been involved with other work at home scams. Check with the Better Business Bureau for reports against the company.

Watch out for jobs that claim you can make full-time money by only working part-time. This is one of those “too good to be true” offers that really isn’t true.

A real company won’t ask you to pay money upfront. If a job requires you to send money for some type of startup costs, don’t. Realize that you face the risk of never seeing your money again.

Don’t cash anyone else’s checks. If you think you have a legitimate check ask a bank teller to verify that the account and bank actually exists. Even though the funds from the check might be available within a few days, wait until the check has cleared before you spend any of it. Visit for information about check cashing scams and recognizing fake checks.

Where to Complain About Work at Home Scams

If you’ve been the victim of fraud, the FTC’s website LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.comrecommends you request to get your money back from the company. Keep a record of the emails you send and phone calls you make. Then, report the fraud to your local law enforcement agency.

You should also report work at home scams to the National Fraud Information Center and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).