Many people who want a work at home job think of data entry first. It's hardly a surprise. Data entry is relatively easy, doesn't require a quiet workspace or much in the line of special equipment. And many people can quickly learn to type fast enough to qualify. However this is also one of the most common work at home scams.
Because so many people feel comfortable with the idea of doing data entry at home, scammers know they can get people to pay them for opportunities that don't exist. It really pays to know what a real data entry job looks like. There are a few common scams. One is to disguise a business opportunity as a job.
This scam is really only a scam because it pretends to be a job rather than a business opportunity. People can make money at it, but there is financial risk involved and you most certainly are not an employee of anyone, despite what these ads claim. Would you want to learn how to run a successful business from someone who lies to you about it being a job? The opportunity is generally affiliate marketing for various products through Clickbank. Often they recommend placing pay per click ads in AdWords and other programs. As I said, people can and do earn money at this.
However it is not easy and if that is what you want to do from home I strongly recommend learning about it from an honest source. Another common scam is to request you pay a fee to show that you are serious. The supposed work is filing in forms with names and addresses to compile address lists for advertisers. However these jobs can often be done much more quickly and easily by computers. Real data entry jobs may not sound that different at the start.
I know of one company that does have you type in customer's information from forms they filled out. That's because you're processing rebate forms. This particular job is limited to the Tempe, AZ area as you must pick up and drop off your work each day. The difference, of course, is in the presence of an actual job. The scams may sometimes send you work but good luck getting paid. The real companies should have reputations you can check and you should be able to find other people who have successfully done the work in the past or are even doing it now.
You should not have to pay to get the job. The job probably will have standard equipment requirements for all contractors or employees. The most common requirement, aside from that of having a computer, which should be a given, is that you have a cable or DSL internet connection. Most companies will not accept dialup or satellite connections. Check the requirements of each company to be certain.
Caution is indicated anytime you are looking for a work at home opportunity. The scams are far easier to find than the legitimate work is. However the legitimate opportunities are out there for those who take the time to hunt for them.
Stephanie Foster uses http://www.homewiththekids.com/scams/ to look at what various work at home scams look like. You can learn more about real work at home data entry jobs at her site.