Advances in technology have made it possible for employees across many industries to work from home. In home offices, employees are able to replicate office setups that were traditionally reserved for brick and mortar sites. Working from home continues to become more common as employers view telecommuting as a low cost alternative to the traditional setup, and from 2005 to 2012 the number of workers telecommuting increased by around 80 percent, according to Global Workplace Analytics. Alpine Access, a large telecommuting company, published projections that estimate 63 million Americans will work from home by 2016.
Earnings are generally high among those who telecommute as around three-fourths of those who work from home earn in excess of $65,000 per year. These high earning telecommuting jobs require specialized skills or expertise and several of the opportunities are in management, financial fields, and information technology. Self-employed workers and public sector employees also commonly work from a home office.
On the other hand, some industries, like customer service and call centers, offer work from home opportunities to those with less experience. These lower level jobs generally pay anywhere between the minimum wage and upwards of $12 per hour. As legitimate employers, these call centers will not offer an abnormally large salary. If an employer offers a large salary for a job that requires little experience, be extremely careful as you may be dealing with a scam artist as opposed to an actual employer.
Since telecommuters don’t really report into an office each day, scams are a giant concern regarding work from home jobs. In 2013, consumers lost over $781 million to Internet fraud. With all of the legitimate opportunities out there, interacting with a fake not only wastes time, it can also be dangerous and costly. On the FTC’s Scam alert page and on consumer complaint pages, we identified some recent work from home scams. These were the scams that stood out.