In the last few years, freelancing has become a preferred way of earning a second source of income. For some people like writers, web developers, journalists and online designers, freelancing is their primary source of income.
Owing to the vast economic problems in both developed and developing countries, people find it lucrative to work online and earn a decent amount of money.
How to Avoid Freelance Scams
As a beginner, you can become a victim of online freelance scams. The scammers are not behind: as numerous freelance opportunities emerge, they find new ways to scam people online.
You won’t find mailer-list scams as you would have five or six years back, but today you will come across more serious scams that really look authentic, erasing the subtle features that distinguished genuine money making online opportunities from scams.
Common Types of Freelance Scams or Work from Home Scams:
 Ad Typing Jobs
 Home Product Assembly
 Envelope Stuffing
 Medical Billing
 Multi-Level Marketing Affiliations (where no ‘real’ product-selling is not involved)
 Email Processing Jobs
 Book Typing Jobs
Basically, any advertisement that promises huge earning potential with little time input and no details whatsoever should be completely avoided.
Since scammers are also brainy intelligent people, they too have found ways to make their so-called make money online businesses too lucrative for people to resist. If you have found any freelancing or work from home that falls in the above common types, here are some warning signs you should be looking out for and some steps that you can take to make sure the jobs are genuine.
 Avoid any kind of work from home or freelance jobs that requires you to actively participate in seminars, that is, the company asks you to attend seminars to actually know how the work from home option works.
Please note that there are some genuine companies, mostly writing companies, which sometimes organize meetings to train freelancers regarding work profiles.
If you have been contacted by such a company and it’s located in your state, you can take a chance and visit. Otherwise, if it’s a company selling products and requires you to learn about direct selling, it’s best to avoid.
 The payment you are supposed to receive is either too good to be true or is based on advertising revenue. These kinds of freelancing offers should be avoided as well.
For instance, if you are a newbie and a freelance writing gig offers you $500 for a 500 word blog post, it’s clearly a scam. Again, freelance writing gigs based on advertising revenue may not be a scam per se but it’s not a beneficial way of earning. Why? Where is the guarantee that your blog or article will lead to advertisement clicks? Is there any? No.
 If you find freelance opportunities too good to be true, you need to perform a background search.
For instance, check the Yellow Pages for a record, do a WhoIs online search for website details, search about any complaints against the company in BBB (Better Business Bureau) records, or you can check with the states general’s office and ask for work from home scams (if any) are registered against the company.
 Never fall for freelance gigs that ask you to send money either for more information or to get a membership.
For instance, freelance websites like freelancer.com, elance.com, guru.com or odesk.com do not have a mandatory policy to take memberships. If you want or feel that a membership will benefit you, you can purchase monthly memberships, otherwise, these freelance sites are free to use and their genuineness is time proven.
Be careful of individuals who ask for money to send work from home details. They are surely scams.
 You should never take any kind of home freelance jobs at face value. Never take them for granted. Perhaps the only disadvantage of freelance work is that there is no sense of permanency or certainty with jobs.
The job you are doing now may continue for 2 months or 2 years, who knows? Therefore, if you are associating yourself with any company that offers a freelance/work from home option, try to get contractual work.
 Favor working with those people or companies that have a social media presence like a page on Facebook, a Twitter account, active blogs or active participation in forums. Such people or companies are more genuine than those without any social media presence.
Finally, the best ways to steer clear of work from home scams or freelance scams is to Google the company name or the individual’s name and see what kind of responses you get. In the end, the judgment is yours.
Have you been scammed? Share your story below…