photo: Matt Bauer via Flickr

Working from home might sound like the perfect job: You get to earn cash, have time with your little ones and spend all day in PJs. Sign us up!

But while there are legitimate opportunities out there for remote workers, there are also a lot of scam “opportunities” that will take more from you than you’ll earn.

How can you know the difference? Here’s the big tip-off: If a potential “employer” asks you for money or credit card information, run away!

“Typically, the scammers ask you for money, rather than paying you money, and that’s usually the telltale sign that a work-from-home so-called opportunity is actually a work-from-home scam,” Elisabeth Leamy, host of the Easy Money podcast told WTOP News.

Also, avoid jobs that offer you opportunities “after” you have completed a paid training program or bought the required bevy of supplies — legit employers will pay for your training and give you the supplies you need. Same goes for publishers who will “publish your book” as long as you give them enough money to get started (you may as well take your book to Kinkos and make copies yourself).

Not sure? Ask questions! Jessica Mattern at Women’s Day magazine recommends finding out everything you can from any potential employer: ask what you’d be doing, how you’d do it and how (and when) you’d be paid. If you can’t get in touch with anyone at the company before signing a contract or paying into a “program,” that’s another big clue that something’s awry.

You can also look on sites like Glassdoor and the Better Business Bureau (even Google!) to get more information about a company or see if any complaints have been filed.

Anyone who thinks they’ve been scammed should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

Do you have a work-from-home job? Tell us about it — and how you got it — in the comments below.