Researching Legitimate Work at Home Jobs

When you start searching for work at home jobs on the internet, you will inevitably be faced with a dilemma: how can you tell for sure which companies are legitimate and which are scams? Sometimes it is almost impossible to know for sure, especially with new companies or those who are just beginning to build their internet presence.However, there are several things you can do to research these companies to find out more:1) Quality and focus of websiteFirst things first; take a close look at their website. Does it have a neat and professional appearance? Do they focus more on their products and services rather than the fact that they hire telecommuters? Do they have a bunch of testimonials from people who are (supposedly) working for them and raving about what a great opportunity it is?Whether you have prior business experience or not, you should be able to tell at a glance whether the company website seems to be legitimate. Even so, don’t stop here because even some scammers know how to make a site look professional – they could even get a pre-made template to use.Also take a moment to check the Whois information on the domain name. This will tell you when the domain name was registered, and by whom. If the domain was just registered a month ago and the company website says they have been in business for years, that may be a warning. (Not always – sometimes the company has focused all of their attention to offline business and are just now creating an internet presence. Still, be cautious.)2) Contact informationOn the company website should be some real contact information, like a telephone number and street address. If there is a telephone number, call and see if you get routed directly to voicemail. If there is an address, pull up a map service like Mapquest or Yahoo Maps and enter the address. Does it give you directions, or tell you the address doesn’t exist? Do a Yellow Pages search and see if another company comes up for that address. I once researched a company that I was almost positive was legitimate but when I looked up their address I found out a funeral parlor was actually at that address. (Yes, I called to verify it; the funeral parlor had been there for years.)3) Do they ask for money?This really should be number one on the list of warning signs to look for, but sometimes scammers are much more subtle about it and they don’t ask for money until you decide to apply for the job. If you see there’s a fee right when you get to the website, then you really don’t need to research any further! Legitimate employers will not ask for money, period. I don’t care what they call it, an administrative fee, a processing fee, a “prove you’re serious” fee, or any other kind of fee. If they ask for money, that is your cue to exit the website and not look back.4) Check out the scam websitesThere are a few great scam reporting sites that can be helpful when researching a company, like scam dot com and scambusters dot org. Visit these sites and search for the company you are researching. But don’t stop there! Also search for any other information you have, like the name of the owner, hiring manager, and so on. If any reports come up, you will be able to read of others’ experiences with the company. (By the way, just because a company is reported on these websites does not necessarily mean it’s a scam. Sometimes disgruntled ex-employees try to stir up trouble, or there could be reports of poor customer service that weren’t resolved satisfactorily, etc. Still, these sites are a good way to learn more about the company in general.)5) General internet searchesYou can also perform a few targeted internet searches for the company name, owner’s name, domain name, and so on. Use quotation marks like this: “http://www.companydomain.com”, and “XYZ company”. Any webpages, blogs, or discussion forums that mention those terms will come up in your search. Most likely, if the company has been hiring telecommuters for some time, you will find plenty of discussions about them on popular work at home forums. This is a good thing because you can hear directly from people who work for the company, or people who can tell you for sure that it’s a scam. Even so, take all this information with a grain of salt. Gather as much information as you can so you can make an informed decision.6) Your gut usually knows more than your brainFinally, your most powerful weapon against scams is your own gut! If something doesn’t feel right, pay attention to that hunch. Don’t let your desperation take control and push you into making decisions you will regret later. If your goal is to find legitimate work at home jobs, then keep searching until you find something you feel absolutely confident is for real. There ARE plenty of legitimate companies that hire telecommuters, you just need to be patient in hunting them down.

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