Consumer Stories... Finding a legitimate work-at-home business without being scammed

By Kristen Miranda - bio l email

Posted by Alison Toole - email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Ellen Beige is in the market for a job.  Her online searches for job openings has brought her face to face with some very interesting offers to work from home and make big bucks.

"They're everywhere.  On Craigslist, in my email inbox, everywhere," Beige says.

She responded to one ad that promised she could make hundreds of dollars from home by processing invoices.

"We get calls on this every day, people who so desperately want to believe it's true.  In most cases, it is not," says Tom Bartholomy with the Charlotte chapter of the Better Business Bureau.

Bartholomy says there are two red flags to watch for when applying for work-at-home jobs.  First, beware of any company that asks you for money before you start work.  Whether it's for training, equipment or software.

"It's supposed to be the other way around, they pay you, you don't pay them," Bartholomy cautions.

Second, watch out for unrealistic claims of the amount of money the company says you will make for a job which, in the "real world" would pay much less.

There are legitimate work at home jobs out there, which do afford you the opportunity to make a living from your living room.

Stephanie Broadnax works for four different clients providing customer service and technical support.  She left the nine-to-five job market for a work-at-home job so she could spend more time with her young children.  There was another positive side effect for her.

"I make double working from home than what I used to make," Broadnax says.

She was able to get into the work-at-home business through a friend who was already working from home.  Click the video links above to learn more about how she found the right jobs for her, and how to avoid some of the work-at-home schemes out there.

We've also included a special WEB EXTRA where we walk you through some of the websites of the work-at-home businesses which get high marks from the Better Business Bureau to show you which services they offer.