Most Work-At-Home Jobs Are Scams, But Some Are Legit

Written By Jodi Brooks DENVER (CBS4) – Everyone has seen them — enticing work-at-home job postings that promise people can make a lot of money. They might be tempting during these uncertain economic times, but most of those postings are scams.

In fact the words “work at home” are on the FBI’s list as top scam words. Words like “telecommute,” “telework,” or “remote work” are better alternatives.

For Gina Raso, it’s all about family.

“I work 40 hours, but I’ve worked up to 60 to 70 hours at my job and it takes a lot away from my children,” Raso said.

Raso is a single mom. She needs to work, but she wants to work from home.

“There are a lot of scams and I’m not sure what companies are legitimate, what companies I can trust,” she said.

For every one legitimate work-at-home job posted online, there are about 70 scams.

“I did beat myself up a lot about it,” said Kathy Cory, a victim of the Mystery Shopper scam.

Cory lost $8,500 after she wired it through Western Union to four locations. It turns out that money order she cashed was a fraud.

“Somebody out there got all that money out of my bank,” Cory said.

So how do you know what work at home jobs are legit? Alpine Access, based in Colorado, is a good place to start.

“Five-thousand people work from the comforts of their home across the United States,” said Alpine Access President and CEO Chris Carrington.

Carrington offers job seekers this advice: never pay a company for training, speak with someone — firms that want to scam you will never talk to you, and a legitimate home-based company will pay you every two weeks.

“We’re looking for someone who is a self-started,” Carrington said.

Alpine Access needs to hire 750 people by the end of the year.

If you’re looking for more flexible jobs, try, another Colorado-based company.

“We’ve helped over 200,000 people in their job search and currently we have about 15,000 active job seekers using our service,” said Sara Sutton Fell, Flexjobs CEO and founder.

Flexjobs is a service you pay $14.95 a month to use. That fee gives access to 7,000 pre-screened jobs that offer some flexibility. Again, you’re paying for a service, not a job.

“There’s a perception out there about not paying for jobs, and absolutely, you should never pay for a job or at the very least it will raise red flags for you,” Fell said.

Other red flags to consider: when a company name is not associated with the job posting, an ad’s email address is @yahoo or @hotmail and not the company’s domain name, and there are a lot of exclamation marks, ALL CAPS, and not job title in the posting.

Scams are out there — just ask Cory.

“They found the right person at the right time because I was sort of desperate and so it turned out that they got me,” Cory said.

It’s why Raso contacted CBS4. She cannot afford to be scammed.

“I’m a very hard worker,” Raso said.

All she wants is to work from home.

A great resource out there is a website for work-at-home moms called

One of the best things you can always do is Google a company’s name and the word “scam” after it. If the job is a scam, you’ll know right away.

LINKS: Alpine Access  |  |

  • H. Jackson

    Good story but the hint about doing a Google search on a company’s name with the word scam after it does not necessarily tell you whether or not the company is a scam. What it does tell you that there may be people who have been associated with that company who were unhappy with their experience with the company and decided to broadcast their displeasure on the internet by calling the company a scam. I can name at least two network marketing style companies, both of which trade on the NYSE, and both of which show up as scams using your recommendation. I’ve even seen the Better Business Bureau designated as a scam on some websites.
    I recommend that if you aren’t sure, do some independent research. Look up the company’s stock ticker symbol if it’s publicly traded. Check with your local BBB, the state Department of Insurance (DORA) if the employees/agents are required to be licensed, or any number of legitimate sources. Unfortunately, in this golden age of the internet, anyone can say anything and there are very few checks and balances on what is said to make sure it’s true or untrue.

  • marlene

    I love working from home it give the freedom and the opportunity to spend more quality
    time with my family and my kids,
    Now that I work for myself, I’m free to stop for an hour ot two, clean the house,
    Pick my daughter from school bus stop and return to work-for-money jobs. I love the flexibility.

  • Marlene

    Affiliate Marketing is by far the best way to make money online. It may take awhile to see results, but it is the same with any business that you would own for yourself. Market, Market, Market and be diligent in what you are doing.
    Success will come your way

  • Marlene

    Every 9-5 working individual is in search of a solution that reduces their work hours and increases their income simultaneously. And, most of them find Internet marketing and online businesses to be one of the most prominent solutions to their overwork problems.

    Anyway, rather than talking negative about the offline jobs, lets discuss some programs from the top Internet marketing affiliates that will direct you towards starting your online business and making it a success

  • BP

    This kind of thing, work from home has been going on since 2007. This is very old news.

  • Barbara

    Thank you Jodi Brooks for this article. We also encourage you to visit We have expos in California with over 100 legitimate work at home businesses. At each expo, you get to talk one-on-one with successful business owners. We also offer seminars on the basics of running your own business.

  • Michael Haaren

    There is an almost “hidden economy” of legitimate home-based jobs, which is obscured by all the scams. (We ourselves have posted over 15,000 legitimate jobs to our site at We expose scams often in the media, but overwhelmed authorities, the recession, and raging unemployment have created a perfect storm for scammers.

  • Michael

    As H. Jackson said, simply adding the word “Scam” into a Google search will deliver you all sorts of results, many of them created by internet marketers using the age-old technique of “bait & switch” to get your attention.

    If you are a woman and genuinely interested in a work for women at home opportunity then I can suggest affiliate marketing as a viable alternative.

    It gives you flexibility to choose the products you want to market and it allows you to build your own home based business around your own schedule and budget. You also get to learn a whole bunch of really exciting new things!

  • Thomas

    There are plenty of good work from home businesses or jobs out there. It just takes patience and good research to find the one that’s right for you.

  • Rose

    I’ve been home recovering from surgery and am dreading going back to a job I absolutely hate. I hope I can count on honest comments here as I look for another method of income.

  • Work from home blogs

    Today you can quickly generate income by means of blogging. You’ll find running a blog suggestions that the doodlekit can put on to raised their particular fortune to make a higher price online. These bankruptcies are not rules first …

  • Remote Worker Daily

    There are lots of legitimate options. The best options in my opinion are freelance work or starting your own business.

  • home business scams

    Here is a quick guide in how to avoid internet marketing scams. If you are new or even if you are experienced this should help you spend your money wisely instead of foolishly.

  • Best Biker Radio Station

    Can I simply say what a comfort to find somebody that really understands what they’re talking about online. You actually realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people need to read this and understand this side of your story. It’s surprising you are not more popular since you definitely possess the gift.

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