Having the opportunity to work from home might sound like a dream come true, but the reality is that working from home can involve long hours and hard work.  It can also be incredibly isolating. 

If you see a work from home advertisement that promises high pay for minimal hours, then it’s probably too good to be true.  Before you quit your day job and try to go it alone, cast a critical eye over the job advertisement.  If you see any of the following red flags, then the job advert is probably a scam:

Work At Home Scam
Asking for Money Up Front
If the job advert asks for you to hand over money in advance, you should be wary, especially if the money is for “training”.  Real work at home jobs follow the same formula as real office jobs – they involve an in-depth interview and application process, and then if you get the job they’ll train you and pay you.
Some companies try to legitimize their request for up-front money for training by saying that they use a complex or proprietary unified communications system, and you need to learn how to use it before you can have the job.  There’s a good chance that you’ll pay them, take the training course, then fail your test, so they get to pocket the money.

Performance Related Pay
Performance related pay, or commission based jobs, aren’t always scams – many sales people work on a commission related basis. However, jobs that advertise high OTEs (On Target Earnings) are often scams.
If you are considering applying for a remote working position that involves commission related pay, do a lot of research on the company first to make sure that it’s legitimate.

Working on Spec
If you’re looking for work at home positions via popular freelance worker boards, then you may encounter some job posters that ask you to submit work on spec.  This isn’t always a scam, but it is something you should be wary of.  If the buyer does not have a lot of feedback/a long standing history on the site, then you should not submit work on spec for them.  Instead, send them a link to your portfolio.  If they aren’t happy with that, don’t work with them.

Traditional Employers
If you want to make sure that the job you’re applying for is not a scam, consider looking for traditional employers that offer work at home positions. There are a growing number of companies, especially in the world of tech support, sales, and customer service, that offer work from home positions.  May of these employers will help with equipment and communication tools such as a leased line, which will help you to work more effectively.

There are legitimate work from home opportunities out there that are provided by smaller businesses.  You will need to choose carefully, though.  Don’t let greed or desperation fool you into taking a job that seems too good to be true.

Check out some free legitimate work from home programs recommended by PCPedia:

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Guest post contributed by Amy Fowler for Maintel, suppliers of unified communications systems and leased lines.Visit the MaintelFacebook page.