Paying someone to pay you is not necessary. Most work-at-home situations that ask you to pay money before you begin work are scams. Stay far away from such schemes. If in doubt, ask others in a work-at-home forum about their experiences with a particular company or job. Many jobs are available to at-home workers that do not cost any money, if you know where to look for them.
Join freelancers' websites such as Upwork to bid on jobs. These sites offer opportunities for virtual assistants, graphic designers, computer programmers, website designers, transcriptionists, article writers, editors and others. While you can sign up without paying a dime, some websites provide greater access to job listings with paid memberships.
Visit work-at-home websites. Stay active on the discussion boards to learn of new job opportunities in your field.
Search work-at-home websites for job listings. Most listings are researched before they are posted, but scams exist. Anything that charges you a fee to get a kit to get started (other than direct sales) is probably a scam. Know the company you are dealing with. Talk to others on forums to find out their experiences with a particular employer.
Visit websites devoted to at-home work for your particular line of work. If you are a virtual assistant, find at-home jobs posted on VirtualAssistants.com, for example.