If a work-from-home position sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
In the great search to land a nice side hustle, many people are now falling prey to scams. These scams target people’s desire to work from home, and they often leave people working for free before they find out they’ve been duped. The truth of the matter is that not all side hustles were created equally. There are several legitimate side hustles that have unfortunately become inundated with scams. According to Business Insider, these are the areas of the gig economy most vulnerable to scams:
- Mystery Shopper
- Multi-level Marketing (MLM)
- Envelope Stuffing
- Copy Editing & Writing
- Paid Online Surveys
- Medical Billing & Coding
- Fraudulent ICOs
Some of the above side hustles have plenty of legitimate opportunities for fulfilling work, while others are complete scams. For example, envelope stuffing is always a scam and will never net you any money unless you participate in an associated pyramid scheme. Driving on the other hand is entirely legal, but the gig driving economy has been bogged down by a huge number of scammers.
In order to protect yourself from scams in the gig economy, always do your research on any potential company. Never pay money upfront for an opportunity in the gig economy; it’s supposed to be the other way around. Don’t work for free, even as a “demonstration” of your skills, unless it is during an interview and actually leverages work you’ve already done, or you’ll end up working for free and wasting a lot of time. Lastly, trust your gut and if you feel worried, walk away.