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While there are plenty of genuine work-at-home opportunities involving light manufacturing tasks, scammers often target WAHMs using this type of job.

The scam starts with an advertisement offering home working activities or packing jobs from home — often handicrafts such as beadwork or light assembly tasks like putting together a small electronic device, things which are ideal for a stay-at-home mum.

The tasks are simple enough to learn easily, yet complex enough to make the attractive pay rates seem credible. All these jobs will have something in common, however: to get started, you’ll either have to provide free work or pay a fee.

The commonest version asks for a payment up front, to cover the cost of your first batch of materials but usually several hundred times what they’re worth. (Alternatively, the fee may be for a manual or a set of detailed instructions.) The company guarantees that you’ll get your money back — all you have to do is satisfactorily complete a sample piece and return it to them. Of course, no matter how closely you follow the instructions, you’ll never complete your sample piece to their satisfaction.

A few simple rules can help you avoid this kind of scam. Steer clear of jobs which require you to pay a fee. These are virtually certain to be scams.

Run a Web search on the name and contact details of the company; this will often bring up information regarding their track record for fairness and reliability.

If you still have doubts, don’t risk it. Save your money and walk away. There will be other opportunities.

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