How to avoid homeworking scams
Many working mums are looking for jobs they can do from home. It seems to be the ideal work life balance solution. You're on hand if there's a childcare crisis and there's no horrible long commute to factor in when the school or nursery rings with the bad news.
There are a lot of homeworking offers on the internet, but it can be daunting trying to figure out how many of them are legitimate. Some seem to be pretty obvious scams, but how do you sort the wood from the trees?
Workingmums.co.uk often gets asked how people can spot whether a homeworking job is legitimate or not so we have put together some tips. They are not cast iron guarantees, but they will help you avoid the more obvious cons.
1. Do your research – don't take anything as read. Google the company, check for comments from people who have worked there and ask around your friends to see if they have heard of the organisation or know someone who has. You could also Google the company's name and the word scam and see if anything comes up. If something does, do not necessarily assume that that is correct too. Make sure your checks are thorough.
2. Question any claims which sound too good to be true, such as promises of overnight wealth.
3. Put any concerns you may have come up with to the employer. You could ask to speak to someone in the company who is doing the homeworking job you are applying for so you can talk through what it involves. If there is no contact phone number for the employer this should ring alarm bells.
4. Search for homeworking jobs on legitimate sites like Workingmums.co.uk. We do our best to ensure advertisers are genuine. It's best to search on the kind of job you want to do rather than just on homeworking as scammers tend to use more general search terms.
5. Read the smallprint, particularly about pay. Ask detailed questions about how pay is worked out and for a breakdown of how much work is needed to secure how much pay.
6. Distinguish between homeworking jobs and self-employment opportunities. The latter may ask you to pay upfront for a starter kit or for training. Ensure if you are asked for any money upfront that you know exactly what it is for. Ensure you get something for your money if you are asked to pay upfront.
7. In self-employed jobs where you may be asked to pay upfront for a starter kit or stock, check out if the organisation has been vetted by a relevant regulatory body, such as the Direct Selling Association or the British Franchise Association. The DSA, for instance, has a warning on its website about paying registration fees to overseas network marketing companies which may not comply with UK law.