How to Avoid Employment Schemes, Find a Legit Opportunity

You're asked to pay money up front. Even if the amount is tiny, beware. Scammers may be trying to get your bank account or credit card information to drain your account.

The ad says you are "guaranteed" a job. This wording is frequent, but impossible and untrue.

If the company claims "no experience necessary," proceed with caution. Most jobs require at least some level of experience, so that is suspicious.

Beware "unadvertised," "hidden," or "exclusive" government jobs. All federal government positions are listed on the official Web site, www.usajobs.gov.

Many companies that claim they can help you land a government job use official-sounding names like "U.S. Career Agency" or "Federal Job Clearinghouse" and even display fancy-looking seals or flags in their offices and on their Web sites. Don't fall for these surface trappings.

If you do see a work- from-home job advertised that you want to follow up on, double check the company's reputation with the Better Business Bureau and your county and state consumer protection offices.

To avoid scams, stay away from someone who guarantees you a high test score or says there is a job available with no experience necessary. Also avoid classified ads that list a toll free number, because the operator may try to sell you job listings or practice tests.

If you want to complain about a private company that you believe is misleading, contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov. Also run the name through a search engine and see if other consumers are complaining about it.

Where to Complain

Should you come across a possible deception and want to lodge a complaint, contact the United States Postal Inspector. The inspector investigates work from home schemes when the information is sent through the mail.

However, if you received materials in a different way then contact your county and state consumer protection offices and your state attorney general for help. You can also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau to alert other consumers.

The Federal Trade Commission takes in consumer complaints about employment opportunities, but does not resolve them for individual consumers. However, if there is a pattern of complaints, the FTC may sue the company to force it to change its ways or stop doing business.

Legitimate Work-From-Home Options

"Good Morning America" workplace contributor Tory Johnson suggests looking into the following companies for work-from-home job opportunities.

Alpine Access
LiveOps
West
Working Solutions
Accolade Support
Customer Loyalty Concepts
Virtual Office Temps
TeamDoubleclick.com
International Virtual Assistants Association
National Telecommuting Institute, Inc.
Zazzle
Cafe Press
Etsy
E-Jurors
Tutor.com

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