Often it seems too good to be true.Work from home opportunities promise all the benefits of a job (paycheck) without all the hassle (commute, dress code, boss).But as the unemployment rate rises to more than 7 percent, more and more former workers are hunting for jobs and considering the work from home option.There are legitimate work from home opportunities out there. Most of them include stuffing envelopes, assembling products, reading books, reviewing movies, medical billing or selling advertising on the web.But according to the Better Business Bureau, "scam artists prey on students, seniors, seasonal workers, people who lack a basic education, and mothers who want to stay at home with their children.".So how do you know the what's legit, and what's not? First off, follow these tips from the BBB to avoid scams.
Exaggerated claims how well the product works. Testimonials from "people just like you." Out of this world claims of profits, or part-time earnings. Claims of "inside" information. Requirements of money for instructions or products before telling you how the plan works. Claims of "No Experience Necessary."Always take time to investigate the company you are going to work for. Remember this is a potential career and you should do the same amount of homework as you would do a traditional job.Ask for a local reference and talk to that person about the job (including how much they make). Insist on talking to real person. Dont just trust audio or video recordings. Find out where the company is located and do some research on the BBB Web site to see if they are legitimate.If the job wants you to do additional recruiting, back off right away. This could be a sign of a pyramid scheme (most of these are not just scams, they're illegal and you could face prosecution).Finally, don't pay anything before you work. These are real scams, and all you get is lost time and money.Still want to work from home? Good, there are legit opportunities out there. Here is a sample of 10 companies that only hire at-home workers:
Alpine Access is a call center company that uses customer service representatives that work from home. Employees use their own telephones and computers. The company provides representatives for clients like Office Depot and J. Crew.
Convergys hires home-based call center agents who provide support in customer service, and also supplies sales agents or help desk staff for companies.
Extended Presence provides their clients with outbound sales agents and marketing support staff who work from home.
Internet Girl Friday provides information technology support as well as administrative services for clients nationwide.
LiveOps provides customer service support for a variety of major corporations. With access to a computer, high-speed Internet and a phone line, people with strong communication skills can apply to join LiveOps network of 20,000 agents who work from their homes. LiveOps is currently hiring agents for customer service, sales and insurance. LiveOps is also looking for bilingual agents.
Spheris provides support to medical professionals. Their services include medical transcription and clinical documentation.
Staffcentrix supplies virtual assistants for business clients, including CEOs and upper management of major corporations.
VIPDesk provides call center support and also offers a home-based concierge service to clients.
Voicelog provides representatives to perform verifications for transactions done online or by telephone. Many states require changes to telephone service and other remote transactions to be verified by a third party, which VoiceLog provides.
West At Home also hires home-based customer service agents. They cater to a specific range of industries, specializing in health care and pharmaceutical support, as well as the hospitality industry.Employees need to meet some basic requirements, including having a telephone and access to a PC. Although the work is conducted from home, interviews for the job aren't always done remotely.So there you are. Your couch carrier awaits. Be careful, good luck and let us know how your search went but commenting on this story below.