12 Common Work From Home Scams to Watch Out For

Scams occur all over the world varying in different forms. It is not surprising at all to know that there are scams over the Internet. Scams don’t discriminate so you bet that there are work at home scams out there.

Actually, most people that start out trying to earn money from home think that most online opportunities are scams.

I didn’t think all opportunities were scams but I had my guard up when I first started. I knew I didn’t want to waste time or money so I made sure that anything I tried was legitimate.

This is how you should look at things especially when you are new. There are quite a few bogus opportunities, websites, and scammers in the work from home field so you need to know how to spot a scam and how to avoid being scammed.

Before I go into that, which will be covered in my next post, I want to reveal some of the most common work from home scams you may encounter while looking for an online job.

If you know what opportunities to avoid, you will have a higher chance of actually choosing a legitimate work from home opportunity. So, lets get right into this.

Envelope Stuffing 

This is one the most common scams on the Internet. You are supposed to send in money and get some envelopes to stuff. The “company” claims that you can make anywhere from $1-$4 per envelope you stuff. This is a scam because the only people who make money are the ones sending the envelopes after you make your payment to them.

You just get envelops and templates to use to distribute the same ad that got you to try the opportunity out to others. You make money only if they fall for the same scam as you. Of course, envelope stuffing comes in various forms but they all end up as scams in the end.

Craft Work/Assembly Jobs

Basically, you would send in money to a “company” for the tools you need to assemble crafts or other assembly related products. They send you low quality “tools” (sewing machine, craft material, etc) and you have to assemble whatever it is you are supposed to assemble.

When everything is done, you will find out that your assembled crafts are not up to standard according to the “company” and you won’t make money. 99% of the time, these assembly work from home jobs are scams.


While there are legitimate MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) work from home opportunities such as Amway, there are a lot more MLM scams or Pyramid Schemes.

MLM supposed to work something like this. You join a business selling products. Then you help promote and sell the products or services they offer to others while also recruiting others to join the same opportunity.

You make money mainly by selling the products and you can also make money by recruiting others to become independent distributors for the company selling the products or services. Start up costs are low and training is usually free.

MLM scams operate differently with the main goal of scamming others and pocketing the money from the downline (since they will be at the top) and start-up fees which is usually very high.

Since there are several types of MLM scams, I will just say that the most scammy ones are the ones that focus more on recruiting people rather than selling the products or services they offer IF they even have them to offer.

Remember, the start up costs will be high with MLM scams and they will often want you to pay for things like training, advertising materials, seminars, etc.

Medical Billing 

This work from home scam involves people purchasing a medical billing package which comes with everything you need to start a medical billing service from home.

The only problem is that after you have gained the knowledge and tools to carry out business (which may not be up to standards), you have no way to get yourself the clients you need to make money. So, you end up losing money.

Medical companies needing this service usually process their bills themselves or have a firm do it for them. They rarely use the services of individuals.

Email Processing

This is similar to envelope stuffing. The only difference is that you use emails or newsletters. Both are scams.

Work at Home Companies Lists 

There are companies that offer to provide a list of work at home opportunities for a fee. Some of them are legitimate and most of them are scams. If you want to access a database of work at home jobs or get work at home job leads, the best way to do this is to just search the Internet for them for free and use legitimate resources. There are many work from home job boards and websites which list legitimate work at home opportunities for free.

If you are short on time and just need to find something fast and legitimate without all the research, you could use a job bank such as HomeJobStop which lists up-to-date and legitimate work from home jobs. There are no scams such as the ones in this article or ads disguised as jobs at HomeJobStop. The fee to join is also very low.

Scammy companies providing such lists include scam work from home opportunities and ads in their out-of-date database and often have very high membership fees.

Chain Letter 

I’m not going to lie, I almost fell for this one. I got an email that said if I sent $7 to the paypal email address listed on the email (chain letter), my PayPal email address will go on the list and I would make a lot of money. There was some stuff in between that I haven’t mentioned but I think you get how it goes.

Stay clear of this scam. I didn’t do it and I hope no one else falls for these $5, $6, $7 chain email scams.

Home Based Business Starter Kits

These companies that offer home business starter kits often uses deception, takes your money, and offer you information you can find on the Internet for free or information that won’t help you at all. They claim that they can help you start your own home business for a fee which will help you make lots of money online.

There are some companies which offers these starter kits that are indeed legitimate but as they say, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.

Typing at Home

You see an ad where you can make money typing at home. You go ahead and try it and send in your fee. You then get materials from this company which basically helps you blast the same ad out to others in hopes that they will sign on and pay the fee.

There wasn’t an honest job from the get go. You are simply paying for information to use to scam other people. Legitimate home typist jobs never request that you pay a fee.

Rebate Processing

The rebate processing scam is somewhat similar to the medical billing scam. You pay for training and materials needed to process rebates. The money supposed to come in once you process rebates. The problem is that you don’t get any opportunities to process any rebates after being promised that you would make lots of money doing so.

Fake Checks/Wire Transfers 

Whatever you do, don’t fall for the fake checks/wire transfer scam. You will likely get into a lot of trouble for this even though there may seem like there is little risk involved in the opportunity.

If you receive an email that talks about you cashing a check and getting some of the money for doing so, delete it immediately. It’s a scam. What you would be doing is cashing a fake check and wiring the person money. Once that fake check bounces, you will be in trouble.

Some fake check scams uses work from home opportunities (processing checks) which eventually leads to you cashing the fake check or checks. Just don’t cash checks or wire money for strangers.

Work From Home Companies Using 1-900 numbers

If a work from home company asks that you call their 1-900 number, steer clear of them. It is probably a scam. Did you know that they charge you for making those 1-900 calls? This is how the company makes money from you and that’s probably what they are only interested in – taking your money.

So, there you have 12 of the most common work from home scams to watch out for. Our next article will be about how to spot and avoid these work at home scams.

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One thought on “12 Common Work From Home Scams to Watch Out For

  1. Nice tips! The only one that it took me like days or a week thinking if it was legit or not was the chain mail. It took me sometimes to figure out that if they don’t do it too I won’t gain anything. I was so suspicious that for a long time I didn’t join anything. I only do ptc for now but from all the home jobs I guess I could do jobs related to webdesign and to type.

    Thanks for sharing, now I can keep my eyes open ^_^

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