As the Internet becomes more popular, there are increasing opportunities to not only become employed by this medium, but also work from home while doing so. However, not every online opportunity is trustworthy. There are tons of scam artists ready to take advantage of the naïve.

This is not to say that there aren’t any legitimate work-from-home jobs. You just have to learn how to catch the signs of a scam artist. So before you begin your search for an at-home job, let’s explore the ways you can protect yourself from being scammed.

Don’t Give Out Too Much Personal Information

Handing out personal information over the Internet has always been a no-no. And the same goes for applying for jobs. There will be many scammers out there asking for social security information, date of birth, and more. But don’t give out anything until you’re sure you’re communicating with a legitimate company.

Also, you’ll want to be careful not to hand out your credit card information. This is especially true if an “employer” is asking you to pay for supplies or other information before they will accept you for a position. Legitimate companies or opportunities will treat you no differently than those that can be found in an office. In other words, you should not be asked to pay money in order to obtain a position. So be careful before you disclose anything too personal about yourself until the nameless, faceless entity on the other side of your computer is represented by a legitimate person or business.

Conduct a Thorough Background Check

Background checks are particularly important when searching for employment online. Again, you cannot see the representative on the other end of the computer and therefore should take extra measures to ensure the opportunity is real. One way you can get this done is by asking for a list of other employees or contractors that have worked for them to get more insight into who this company is.

Also, you can take advantage of websites that are dedicated to catching scam artists, such as And you can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if a company is legitimate. However, it will be more difficult to catch online scammers in this way because they don’t have to register as a business in order to act as one.

Use Your Common Sense

One thing you have on your side when searching for a job is common sense. It may take a while to develop online common sense, but it will come. This way, if an individual or company claims that you can make $5,000 a week stuffing envelopes from home, you’ll know it’s probably too good to be true. The same goes for unsolicited emails saying that someone has found a job for you. In time, you’ll automatically delete them and know you’ve probably been placed on a 3rd party mailing list with thousands of others who have been offered the same “job.”

Finding a legitimate work-from-home job opportunity can be very rewarding. However, to avoid getting caught up in the scams, try to conduct plenty of research and use your common sense. This way, you can avoid the nonsense and get straight to finding your perfect at-home job.

Author's Bio: 

Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. In need of a resume writer? Compare the top ones in the industry at