Business, Career 

5 Signs Your Dream Job is Actually a Scam

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work from home scamOne of the great things about technology is that you have the opportunity to make money in new and different ways. You can even find work at home jobs that pay reasonably well. At the very least, you can start a home business as a freelancer, or doing some other type of work.

Since the dream of working from home is so strong, you need to watch out for scams. Whenever something seems very attractive to a wide swath of the population, there are scammers out there trying to take advantage. If you’re not careful, you might find that the dream job advertised online at places like Craig’s List is actually scam. Here are 5 signs your dream job is probably a scam:

1.  Good Pay for Easy Jobs

When I was in college, and looking for a way to earn a little extra money, I answered an ad for envelope stuffing. I could earn $1 for every envelope I stuffed! That’s easily $50 an hour, I thought. Probably more. I actually sent in for a “kit.” Once I saw the “kit,” I realized that the envelope stuffing I would do involved getting other suckers to send in money for a similar “business kit.”

Watch out for jobs that seem like you’re getting paid a good deal of money to do very easy work. It’s probably a scam.

2. Up Front Payments

While MLM companies aren’t illegal, and most aren’t scams per se, you do need to watch out. When an “employer” requires you to make some sort of up front payment, you could be moving into scam territory. MLM companies that encourage you to max out credit cards to buy products are trouble. Another red flag is when you are told to go to a specific web site and pay for a “background check” or “credit check.” Also, watch out for “opportunities” that require you to buy an expensive kit in order to get started. It’s one thing to buy a legitimate course or information product, it’s another to buy something as a condition of employment.

3. Poor Grammar

Does the job listing feature poor grammar and lol-speak? If so, it’s probably not legit. Reputable companies follow the rules of professional communication. They don’t abbreviate items, and they don’t substitute “$$$” for “money.” Nor do they use the sort of terminology you are likely to see if you look at a text message from a teenager.

4. It’s Hard to Get Information on the Company

Does the “business” have a vague or generic name? Is the email address given a Gmail or Yahoo! account? Is it difficult to find a web site? If so, you could be dealing with a scam. Most legitimate companies have email addresses originating from the business domain name, not from MSN/Hotmail or Additionally, a poorly designed web site, or not web site at all, should also send up red flags. You should be able to find information on a potential company.

5. Pressure to Move Now

Most jobs aren’t going to require you to make a decision immediately. There’s a whole process involved. Additionally, watch out for “limited time opportunities.” Most legitimate job listings don’t feature this type of language. Plus, with a reputable job, it’s not about getting in on something quickly. It’s about being the right fit.

Photo: thisisbossi

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “5 Signs Your Dream Job is Actually a Scam”

  1. Good advice, most young people don’t have the sensitivity to recognize that these thing are a red flag or at least they don’t know yet.

  2. admiral58 says:

    Employees shouldn’t have to pay for training, so don’t upfront costs

  3. Shafi says:

    My son almost fell for a job scam.

  4. Anne says:

    Good advice indeed. Another problem with MLMs is that there are no territorial controls, like there are with franchises. Imagine if four Wendy’s restaurants decided to open on four corners of an intersection. Who would benefit from this folly? Wendy’s corporate, for a while, maybe. What if an area is saturated with Amway or Arbonne agents? So again, not illegal technically, but shady.

  5. Phil says:

    First, many employees in reputable industries have to pay for their own training and development. So, automatically dismissing something for that reason is not entirely accurate.

    Second, there are many very reputable home sales business (Tastefully Simple, Pamper Chef, 31, etc) that will require you to invest some of your money to start-up your business. In fact, there has never been a successful, legitimate business opportunity that did not requite a new individual to make some sort of “notable commitment”. If you own your own “brick and mortor” business, you understand this fact very well. So, again, asking for “upfront money” is not always a bad sign.

    However, if two or more of these listed points come into play, you definitely should run away. And, as always, you won’t get something for nothing, and, if it looks like a great opportunity, you need to ask yourself, if so, why are they offering it to me? Good opportunities are rarely just “given away” to strangers.

  6. Terrence says:


    Usually I find great value in Your blogs, but not this time. There are scams out there, but a big problem is the majority of people don’t know how to research a company outside of a google search. Your first point is absolutely true. Number 2 is incorrect because there are quite a few jobs where there are upfront costs associated outside of mlm. Also with mlm’s countless people with higher influence and reputation. Also mlm’s would classify as a business op as opposed to a job. All biz ops mlm or traditional involve up front costs. Number 3 isn’t accurate, but I would caution that if you go in for an interview look for other red flags at the appointment. Number 4 is in the same vein as Number 3. If the company is a startup or a small mom and pop type operation, there is a chance that there is limited info online about them because for what their goals are they may not need it to fuel their business. Now if a company is making false claims about bbb ratings or being a fortune 500 company or being publicly traded, etc and it can’t be verified with a quick online search, definite red flags. Number 5 is also inaccurate. Depending on the needs of the company and the type of person their looking for you may be required to make a decision relatively quickly and decisively. You find this in jobs where you are expected to be a decisive leader who has to drive high production numbers. I apologize for dissecting this,

  7. Terrence says:

    I’m sorry I forgot to add my apology for the dissection of the article, but I felt compelled to in order to help someone from possibly missing out on a great opportunity due to misinformation.

  8. Gloria says:

    Ok my question is are there any jobs to work from home? because for what I see is all are Scams. I never fell for those jobs,but was wondering if there are offers for jobs without being related to a company. What I mean most of the people who can work from home were already working for a company and were given a better position .

  9. Carmen says:

    In many cases, offer to “work from home” means starting your home business. And yes sometimes you may be offered a legitimate opportunity as there are many good MLM companies; but other times it could be a scam. You have to watch out.
    Having that said, yes there are jobs to work from home as a freelancer when you can be self-employed. You can register on sites like,, or, and see if there is a demand for your professional skills. It’s still a business as you won’t be on a salary. If hired for a project, you work and get paid. Some are very successful as freelancers 🙂 Hope it helps.

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