Shannon Hudson of Saratoga Springs has three boys under the age of five. Taking care of them is her top priority. Money is tight, though, and she wants to contribute financially to the family's income. It took her three years to find the right fit.
"The reason I think it took so long is a lot of moms want to stay at home and when they get that job, they stay there. There's not a lot of turn over," states Hudson.
Through networking with friends, Hudson was hired to do data-entry for a health care company. She wakes up at 4:00 a.m., works until her kids stir from their beds and then hits the computer again during nap time.
She explains, "Whenever they need something I can just hop up and help them."
And that's just one of the perks. "I love that I can roll out of bed and clock in in my pajamas," Hudson adds.
After scouring the classifieds and surfing the internet, Jewely Parris also landed her home office job with Ancestry.com through networking.
"I love the people and I love genealogy. I am actually now looking to become a certified genealogist," exclaims Parris.
For Parris, working from home is about convenience. "So I could be home and make lunch and dinner for me and my husband, just to be home all day and not have to commute," she explains.
However, those who are in a hurry to find work run a higher risk of falling victim to fraud. In fact, research shows only one in 60 work at home jobs are legitimate.
The U.S. Postal Service sees new cons everyday - such as mystery shopper scams and re-shipper rackets.
"Re-shippers scams are where they ask you to ship mail to other people around the country or other countries and usually it's stolen goods," describes Ron Hubrich with the U.S. Postal Service.
One personal shopper scam involves the company sending instructions on legitimate looking letterhead with a check for $1,700. The letter tells the employee to deposit the check, keep $250, spend $50 at the store or restaurant they're reviewing, then – and here's the catch – wire $1,300 via Western Union to some other location. Sounds good, but five to 10 days later the original check bounces and the employee is out the money they wired.
Hubrich warns, "Just like anything else if it's too good to be true than it usually is. If they ask you to give them money up front, don't do that. If they send you a check and ask you to send money somewhere else, don't do that."
The question now becomes, how do you find legitimate jobs?
1. The website www.workathomecareers.com instructs that when you are searching for jobs online, do not use keywords such as "work from home" or "work at home" - they will usually lead you to advertisements.
2. Instead try: virtual work, home office, tele-work, or remote work.
3. Visit websites that specialize in working from home with free job leads and scam prevention tips.
4. Do your research on each company. Check job blog sites for references and the Better Business Bureau for complaints.
5. Talk over each offer with a trusted friend.
"It may seem legitimate to someone who is desperate for a job and to make money at home, but somebody else thinking more logically will see the scam involved," concludes Hubrich.
ABC 4 News made calls for weeks, trying to find a local government entity with a centralized resource for legitimate work at home opportunities, without success. Utah's Better Business Bureau has been working on a similar project for years, but it's not compiled yet.
To help get you started, we've compiled list of possible job leads:
Diva Girl Enterprises LLC - One of the nation's leading handbag distributors that offers wide variety of handbags and women's accessories through home shows, boutiques and online party component. www.divagirlpurseparty.com
ELance.com - Elance is a CFO's best friend. Elance offers marketing, product, administrative and technology managers a flexible and cost-effective way to get work done without adding headcount. Look for employment or look for employers. www.Elance.com
smartmoneypartners.com - Creating a website to sell products made at home. This website helps create your online business. Gives advice on how to create a recurring residual income that grows every month. www.smartmoneypartners.com
Mary Kay - Make money from hosting cosmetic parties with your girlfriends. Mary Kay has men's, women's and fragrance lines. www.marykay.com
Scentsy Candles - Become a consultant, host parties and sell candles. www.scentsy.net
Camera Dollars - Genuine home-based photography system lets you earn up to $250 a day and also gives you the opportunity to earn monthly residual income off every photo that you submit online www.cameradollars.com
Jet Blue Airlines - Agents go to a monthly meeting at the Salt Lake City office, but otherwise they do all of their customer contact and flight reservations duties without ever setting foot outside their front door. http://www.jetblue.com/about/work/
Lexie Girl Clothing - Become a fashion consultant http://www.lexiewear.com/
ebay - Tap into your Talents, Skills, Hobbies, and Passions and turn them into a profit-making eBay machine. Set realistic, practical, and achievable business goals for yourself and turn your Dreams into a Reality. http://www.ebay.com
World Wide Work at Home - Job listings for at home work www.worldwideworkathome.com
Stay at home Mom job listings - At Home Moms.com helps work at home moms find work at home jobs and work from home opportunities such as paid surveys www.athomemoms.com
Freelance work for moms - Explore the site to find home business ideas and tips on how to recognize and avoid work at home scams. http://www.freelancemom.com/
Freelance work - Many categories of freelance projects available including website design, administrative support, marketing, engineering, writing, translation, illustration, legal, and more. http://www.guru.com/pro/index.aspx
Freelance work - Project4Hire.com is the place to find Freelance Programmers, Web Designers, Graphic Artists, IT Professionals, Translators, Writers, Consultants & other Freelance Professionals. www.project4hire.com
Freelance work - Authentic Jobs is a targeted destination for web & creative professionals, and the companies seeking to hire them www.authenticjobs.com
Blogging jobs - This page contains current job listings for bloggers. http://jobs.worldwideworkathome.com/blogging.html
Writing jobs - Jobs listings for at home writing jobs. http://www.worldwideworkathome.com/writing.html
Work at home customer service jobs - Job listings for work at home customer service jobs. http://jobs.worldwideworkathome.com/customer-service.html
Work at home proofreading job - Listings for at home proofreading jobs http://jobs.worldwideworkathome.com/proofreading.html
Travel agents from home - Through this job program you can become an independent travel agent. http://www.globaltravel.com/travelagent/default.aspx
SimpleSlice.com - Web Design, Help develop websites online from home www.simpleslice.com
For Every Home - www.foreveryhome.net
Heritage Makers - www.heritagemakers.com
Legitimate Survey Sites - www.couponingtodisney.com
Live Ops - www.liveops.com
West - www.west.com
Convergys - www.convergys.com
Alpine Access - www.alpineaccess.com
Arise - www.arise.com
VIPDesk - www.vipdesk.com
Working Solutions - www.workingsolutions.com
Team Double Click - www.teamdoubleclick.com
oDesk - www.odesk.com
Guru - www.Guru.com
SoloGig - www.sologig.com
Work at Home Careers - www.workathomecareers.com
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