Work-at-Home Scams: How to Investigate Work-from-Home Job Listings
Working from home is a hot topic and has been for a while. People often think of all the positives about working from home, but do not grasp the negatives.
Working from home can be even more intriguing for people with visual impairments because it limits transportation issues. Transportation can be an extremely large barrier to employment for people who are blind or visually impaired.
Another perceived benefit to working from home is that you may already have assistive technology installed on your home computer, so it would limit the cost of accommodations to the employer—some businesses do worry about the cost of assistive technology. The downside would be that you have to become your own information technology (IT) specialist. This means you will have to able to problem solve and fix many of your own technology issues. Some can be handled virtually, but not all.
Nevertheless, the idea of working from home can be very enticing. Your commute is limited to a desk in your home, you are your own onsite supervisor, and the dress code is very lenient. About.com offers some great advice on how to spot work-from-home scams.
Another good method is to use a search engine to research the opportunity. Put the word "scam" or "fraud" in the search box as well. You will find posts from others who have been offered this same opportunity. Take the time to research any job opportunity prior to signing up.
Disability.gov's blog recently featured an entry by Raymond E. Glazier, Ph.D., (Director of the Abt Associates Center for the Advancement of Rehabilitation and Disability Services and Member of the Work Without Limits Initiative) on Career Connections: The Pleasures and Perils of Working from Home: Is Telework for you? This piece gives a great list of positives and negatives to consider before working from home.
Another good resource to check out is AFB's "Work Life" message board, where you can get commentary from other job seekers or persons with employment experience.
Whatever you decide, be smart and cautious. Stick with the old adage: "if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true."