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Consumer Watch: Avoiding work from home scams

Looking for a job is easier than ever before with the help of the internet, but landing that job can be a bit of a different story. If you're out of work or looking for a change of pace, work from home jobs could be an option, but be on the lookout because scammers often target people in a tough spot.

"One of the things that is a really big red flag is if they are requiring an upfront payment for a job. That should not happen," says Lisa Graven with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

Graven says other types of scams include attempts to ‘phish’ for your private information. A potential employer should never ask for your private information over the phone, or at the start of a job interview. They may need that information once you have been hired. Bottom line, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

"I think instinctually people know with their gut that something is amiss and if you feel that, you know, go with your gut instinct," says Graven.

There are work from home jobs that are not scams. Some companies offer customer service jobs that can be done at home. The health and tech industries are also popular for work from home positions. However, keep in mind that many of these work from home positions are only part-time or seasonal work. Many of the full-time options require specialized career paths.

If you have a question about a work from home position, the Oklahoma employment security commission recommends doing some research on that company. Simply searching for the company online can clue you in to whether it's a scam or the real deal.

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