So you think telecommuting is right for you? You want to work from home, bring in some extra money, or even have a full-time at-home job? That’s great!

There are plenty of legitimate work-from-home jobs out there. The Telework Research Network says that teleworking grew 73% from 2005 to 2011. And with all that growth and all the technology available to teleworkers today, there are more opportunities than ever to work from home.

But if you’re checking into work-from-home jobs, you also need to be aware that many of these so-called opportunities are actually scams. The Internet abounds with too-good-to-be-true work-at-home jobs, which will just waste your time and steal your money. Here are six signs that a work-from-home opportunity is actually a scam to avoid:

1. The company asks for money upfront

If any work from home ad asks for an upfront payment, steer very clear of that particular company or job. No legitimate employer is going to ask you for money upfront. In some cases, you may be required to provide your own equipment – like a computer or phone – to do the job, but you won’t need to write the company a check or give them access to your bank account in advance.

2. The ad promises quick, passive income

Building passive income through something like a blog or legitimate multi-level marketing plan is possible, but it takes lots of time and effort to get there. If a work-from-home job ad says you’ll make money in your sleep right away, it’s a scam.

3. Your told you‘ll get rich quickly

Unless you already have skills and experience in an area, you’re probably not going to make a six-figure income right off the bat. If a job ad says you’ll be making big bucks every hour or every month, it probably really is too good to be true.

4. You get an offer in your inbox/mailbox

Just like with work-at-the-office jobs, you have to actively pursue the good work-at-home jobs to land a good one. So if you get an unsolicited work-from-home job offer in your inbox or mailbox, it’s probably a scam.

5. There are no job, income, or company details

Many Craigslist work-at-home job listings are like this. They’ll give you vague ideas about the job and what you’d be doing, but not much concrete information. Many of these listings also don’t include the company’s actual name and address. This means that the purpose of the listing is probably just to farm for information, like your email address.

6. The offer uses high-pressure tactics

If a job listing or website uses high-pressure tactics, like telling you that you have only a day to make a decision or threatening to cut off opportunities after a certain number of people sign up, steer clear. Legitimate companies will take their time to find the best possible candidates, and won’t make applying for a job look like signing up for a sweepstakes giveaway.

As you’re looking for your perfect work-from-home job, keep in mind that you will still actually have to work – you’ll just be able to do it in your pajamas. You may even need to make an investment as a business owner or freelancer in a computer, certain programming, or other things, which a business credit card could help you get started with.

But if you’re asked to pay money upfront, give your information to a company that isn’t giving you any information in return, or accept a deal that looks too good to be true, avoid it.

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