Ask Andy: Work-At-Home Opportunities

Ask Andy: Working at Home

(WMC TV) - As more job-hunters get shot-blocked, a lot of them are asking me about work-at-home offers.

The easiest thing to remember about work-at-home offers is if they came to you first, they're fake.

If they ask for an up-front fee, for your personal information -- or if they send you an unsolicited check for deposit in order to "start" the job -- stop!

Those are not legitimate work-at-home jobs.

But these are, according to Michael Haaren, CEO of Staffcentrix and the work-at-home job-screening site

* CUSTOMER SERVICE AGENT. That's taking calls for companies, not telemarketing.

* INTERNET AD ASSESSOR. The job involves making sure search engines make accurate searches.


* ONLINE MODERATORS of web communities, Facebook groups and online games.

* VIRTUAL TASK FREELANCERS. This may require a little travel and mileage reimbursement for picking up clients' stuff, but it also includes online research.


* FREELANCE POSTERS paid to originate and post content on blogs.

The trick is telling which ones are real and which ones are bogus.

I have you covered there.

These are reliable sites for screening work-at-home offers:


* Click "Advanced Job Search" under the "Find Jobs" button, then type the words Work From Home in the "exact phrase" field.

"Once we've identified it's passed our test of credibility and confirmable legitimacy then we'll allow the companies on our site," said Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of, "and we'll post the jobs to our database for our users so every single job is hand-screened."

There are also online forums where people write about their successes and failures with work-at-home opportunities:

One of the worst work-at-home scams comes in the form of a "mystery shopper" offer:  getting hired by companies to shop their retail stores and test their services or products.

Toss aside any unsolicited mystery shopper offer. Instead, check into real mystery shopper opportunities with the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.

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