PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Working from home is something that a lot of people would love to do.

But while most of those “work from home” offers are nothing more than a scam, some of them are for real and pay well.

If you are looking for a work from home job be skeptical, be ready to check and double check the company and read every smidgen of small print.

Amber Wedig said she wanted to find a way to work from home in order to stay with her two daughters. But her search for a job online initially raised her eyebrows.

“In today’s economy, where we have 13 to 14 million people unemployed, you are going to get scams,” said Warren King, of the Better Business Bureau. “They are going to target the consumers looking for work.”

As you consider work at home offers, experts say it’s important to keep one critical factor in mind: any kind of required payment is often a scam to get your account information.

Experts say you wind up being billed month after month for a transaction fee for their product. It’s an ongoing withdrawal spelled out in the fine print that most of us never read.

The Better Business Bureau, which sees thousands of complaints a year about this, has found when you try to get the billing stopped either the phone rings off the hook or the company is based on some Caribbean island and untouchable.

However, there is an entire world of legitimate “work at home” companies that offer mostly computer-based jobs ranging from writing for websites and magazines to tutoring, doing accounting work or taking customer service calls.

“We have more than 3,000 employees who work from home across the United States in more than 1,200 cities,” said Chris Carrington, the president and CEO of Alpine Access.

From his desk at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Carrington runs Alpine Access, one of the many legitimate “work from home” opportunities.

“We’ll look to hire another 3- to 4,000 in 2010,” he said.

Wedig found Alpine Access online, checked them out with the Better Business Bureau and then went through almost a week of online and phone interviews.

“Our employees take calls for customer service, in bound customer service, in bound sales calls, tech support calls,” said Carrington.

Alpine Access is meeting the needs of corporations that want their calls taken by Americans as well as the growing number of people who want to work from home.

“They can work either part time or full time,” said Carrington. “Our employees make anywhere from $8 an hour to $14 an hour depending on the complexity of the program,” said Carrington. “Alpine serves our clients seven by 24 hours; so, if you’re the type that likes to work from midnight to six in the morning we’re looking for [you].”

Meanwhile, Wedig says she saves on clothing and never has to sit in rush hour traffic.

“I can work a few hours in the morning, a few hours in the evening. I work around my husband’s schedule,” said Wedig. “They direct deposit straight out of Colorado direct deposit into my bank every two weeks. I like the money.”

For her job, Wedig says she uses her home telephone line. She had to buy a noise canceling headset for her computer, and Alpine had to make sure her computer was fast enough to handle the work.

When she’s ready to work she logs in, calls a phone line in Colorado and the calls are routed to her. She is currently making $9.50 an hour plus bonuses.

Alpine Access
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