Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
If you are hoping to work from home you may be scouring advertisements in the paper, magazines or online for the right opportunity. It does not matter where you find the advertisement, you should take care not to become a victim of a work-at-home scam.
Many people will shy away from any advertisement that proclaims itself to be a multilevel marketing or MLM business, however, you should be aware that multilevel marketing is not bad. More often it is the recruiting individual not the company that is the problem. I am in a direct marketing business (since 1995) that has a multilevel marketing system of compensation. I would not touch it, if I thought there was anything not quite right about the company. That being said, you should also be aware that companies that use the right words and seem speak directly to you, are not always on the up-and-up. You must do your homework before joining any organization whether MLM or 'work from your home making Widgets' for a particular company. I believe you should be wary if you have to send money, even a dollar, before the company will give you any needed information. You would not have to pay money to get company information from a brick and mortar department store, why should you have to pay money to a company for information about their company if you hope to work for them and they want you to work for them?
Any advertisement that concentrates on the recruiting of people to join your “downline” rather than focusing on the product, should be a red flag that you need to read the offer more than once before signing any document that may bind you to the company. Be sure to read the small print--if you are told, when you ask a question, "Oh, don't worry about that, it's just...." know that it is time to worry.
We have all seen the advertisements that shout at you “Earn thousands of dollars a month from your home!” This type of solicitation is not only in newspapers and magazine, they are often posted on the Internet, even telephone poles. It sounds great, and if you are desperate to earn money, they can be very enticing lures, but the Federal Trade Commission recommends exercising caution when it comes to any work-at-home opportunities.
Many of these ads do not disclose that you may have to work many hours without pay or that you will have to pay for certain materials you will need to accomplish the job, such as envelopes, paper, stamps, or other supplies. People already desperate for money, can lose money to companies like these, then often have no recourse of recovering their money, not to mention time wasted and energy spent.
Before accepting a work-at-home job, ask questions like these to determine the legitimacy of the offer and the appropriateness of it for you. Write down every question you can think of before you make that telephone call. Some of your questions should be:
• What does the job entail? Can you describe the process step by step?
• How can I reach you, if I have further questions?
• How is the compensation determined: Is it a salary? Pay for piecework? Commission?
• Who will pay me?
• When may I expect my first paycheck?
• What is the total cost of the work-at-home job, including supplies, equipment, are there membership fees? What will I get for my money?
Do remember to check with your local Better Business Bureau to find out if the company has any action taken against it.
See Federal Trade Commission facts for U.S. consumers. A reminder that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is your friend. It works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid scams. USA only. Those in other countries should check their own consumer watch dog site.