Working from home could cost you, says Which?Investigation reveals £7,000 cost of answering ads

21 May 2010

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A Which? investigation into ‘working from home’ adverts in newspapers and online has found few of them appear to offer proper job vacancies, and that answering them could cost people over £7,000.

Experts from money-saving magazine Which? Money Quarterly analysed 13 adverts in national newspapers and 10 adverts online, and discovered that:

  • Many adverts required an upfront fee for more information or training which the researchers failed to receive
  • Not one advert found in a national newspaper offered a recognisable ‘job’ or regular salary
  • It was difficult, or even impossible, to earn the amount of money claimed in some adverts
  • The job opportunity often failed to match what was promised in the advert.

Working from home: sensational claims

Some of the claims found in the newspaper adverts were sensational. One read: ‘Discover how one Midlands man banked over £7m finding unique information and making it available to particular groups of people.’ The advert requested £70 for DVDs and information on how to set up a website - yet it was unclear how this ‘investment’ could be turned into £7m.

Another advert claimed people could ‘make £27,013 monthly’ and required £17 for a guide on creating iPhone applications. Not only is it unlikely a person answering the ad would make this amount of money; there are similar books available on Amazon for just £9.

The online job adverts assessed by Which? Money Quarterly’s researchers were no less astounding. One offered respondents the chance to set up their own local magazine from home – but demanded almost £7,000 to get this started, then a further £146.88 every month.

Beware working from home adverts

James Daley, editor-in-chief of Which? Money Quarterly says: ‘When times are tough, it’s tempting to look for ways to make extra money on the side, and working from home seems an easy way to make lots of money without needing any particular qualifications, skills or expertise.

‘However, our research shows that you need to be very careful when looking at working from home ads in newspapers and online. Hundreds of thousands of people could be wasting money looking for work in these difficult times. If a job offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.’

If you are self-employed, or are thinking of working for yourself, be sure to check out the Which? Tax for the self-employed advice guide.

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