Work-at-home opportunities have grown substantially since the Great Recession began as people are looking to get back on their feet financially. These side gigs offer the flexibility of choosing your own hours and can be a great way to earn a little extra cash in your free time. What they will not do, however, is make you rich quickly.
Scamsters have also taken advantage of the increased popularity of work-at-home offers. So you have to be careful to avoid people trying to take your money. Among the most common scams:
- People asking for sensitive personal information such as your Social Security number, date of birth or checking account number
- Instructions to deposit a check then wire a portion of it back to someone
- Claims that someone has access to hidden jobs or government grants that nobody else knows about
- Anyone requiring large amounts of money up front
- Promises of earning hundreds or thousands of dollars a month in your spare time
Never, ever give out personal information or bank account numbers to anybody without a good reason. Because most work-at-home offers are scams, you have to be vigilant in weeding out the bad ones.
So what should you do if you’re searching for legitimate opportunities to earn some extra dough? That depends on your interests and abilities. There are several types of work-at-home outfits on the internet, but I’ll talk about three of the most common ones.
Virtual call centers and help desks
Companies often outsource their customer support, so you might be able to find an opportunity helping customers solve issues on the phone or over the internet. Arise.com and LiveOps.com are two of the bigger sites for these types of opportunities.
Legal assistance to attorneys
Attorneys sometimes need help preparing for a trial. For example, you could be part of a mock jury or focus group helping to determine case value, find which facts to emphasize, and analyze public opinion of a particular topic. If you’re interested in providing this type of service, check out OnlineVerdict.com or eJury.com.
Do you know a foreign language? Are you a math whiz? There are people willing to pay for private tutors for all sorts of subjects. Take a look at what skills you can offer the world, and visit Fiverr.com or Elance.com to find people looking for your expertise. Even if you don’t think you have any skills, you’d be surprised what people are willing to do for a few bucks.
On Fiverr.com, people post what they are willing to do for five dollars. One entry I just saw is from a guy who is willing to put on a hot dog costume and dance for two minutes to a song of your choice!
Work-at-home opportunities won’t make you rich, but they can be a good way to earn a few bucks in your spare time. A good way to get a feel for the reputation of a company is to search online for what other people say about it. If you see a lot of negative comments, you know to steer clear.
A final word of caution: Be skeptical if something seems too good to be true. You don’t want to get taken by the scamsters!
Photo by classifiedwars.com