FORTUNE — Dear Annie: I happened to be interested in your line about how to get back into the workforce after an extended time-out to increase young ones. I’ve been a full-time mother for four many years and want to grab my career where it left off, or at least try to get my foot in the home someplace. I’ve been wondering whether or not it will be feasible to function from home for now, since my young ones are still pretty small, but We keep hearing that many work-at-home jobs the thing is advertised tend to be frauds. How can I avoid getting stung? Almost all of could work knowledge is within customer care. Can I discover a legitimate at-home task in this area? — Mary Lou
Dear Mary Lou: Many thanks mostly towards the Internet, the sheer number of men and women a home based job in the U.S. has skyrocketed to over 4 million. Between 1998 and 2008, in accordance with new york technology advisory firm Nemertes analysis, the “virtual staff” expanded by 800%.
Nonetheless, you’re directly to throw a skeptical attention on task ads that make lavish guarantees because, as with any fast-growing and hard-to-regulate area, this 1 has actually drawn its share of con artists.
Just how are you able to tell the great guys through the bad? Scientists at RetirementJobs.com, employment website devoted to employment opportunities for people over 50, recently put together helpful tips to working from home, available online to its users, that includes 10 indicators of a possible con. Watch out for “employers” who:
• Don’t plainly explain the job you'd do.
• Require advance repayment for a “starter kit” or “handbook”
• Won’t permit you to talk to a real person
• Promise large earnings for little work
• Rely on testimonials depicting appealing, delighted men and women or households
• Depict lavish domiciles, cars, and boats
• Feature large quantities of income inside their advertisements
• Have accurate documentation of grievances for fraudulence (look at the Federal Trade Commission’s webpage, along with condition alternatives.)
• Promise to get rid of your financial issues
• where in actuality the owners or principals can’t be identified
“It all may seem like commonsense, ” the RetirementJobs.com report notes, “but good judgment often goes out the window when you’re desperate or just a trusting person…. No More Than 1 in 100 work-at-home possibilities is legitimate.”
This means that, if it seems too-good to be true, it most likely is.
Nevertheless, starting with a listing of about 500 extensively advertised work-at-home opportunities, RetirementJobs winnowed 111 businesses supplying genuine possibilities in 18 areas, including healthcare, IT, product sales assistance, and private treatment. Some are popular, like Avon , Tupperware , and Mary Kay, but most tend to be less familiar.
In customer service group, as you requested, the guide details 8 legitimate companies. In alphabetical order, they are AlpineAccess.com, Arise.com, Convergys.com, CustomLoyal.com, MedQuist.com, VIPDesk.com, WestAtHome.com, and WorkingSolutions.com.
The actions tangled up in beginning an actual home-based task are similar to those you’d take for an in-person position, notes Pamela La Gioia, including undergoing an application, assessment, and interviewing process (usually internet based or by phone) and filling in the mandatory taxation documents.