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Working from home may sound like a dream, but many scammers like to take advantage of your dream. Work-At-Home scams are common and it can be difficult to determine which job is legit and which is a scam. We asked our experts to share their tips on spotting some of the more common types of work-at-home scams and how to avoid falling for them.
One way you know a WAH pitch is too good to be true is if it doesn’t require any skills. There is no such thing as a no-skill path to economic security. If the the come on promises that you don’t have to know how to do anything because they will train you, then steer clear. Otherwise you’ll end up learning an expensive lesson.
Scams rely on human nature to work. How? Buy getting you to override your cognitive function for emotionality. Getting you to dream big is just good advertising. So how can you tell if it’s a scam?
1. Does the work seem so minimal that it borders on sheer laziness?
If the effort you need to put in feels too good to be true, that’s because it is. Think about it if it was that easy to make money that you could take five minutes out of your day to do it why would they share it? Value is based on scarcity if you’re trying to make money sharing how to do it floods the market. Flooding the market is the same as killing the market.
2. It doesn’t use real money
If they are asking you to accept payment in tokens or something they’re working an angle. Never bite for bit. They will ask you for a credit card or someway to transfer the money and that’s when they have you.
3. Think it through
Think of the classic story The Emperor’s New Clothes. If any part of it doesn’t make sense to you it’s not the business for you. They are counting on you dismissing the things that don’t make sense because the opportunity is just “too good to pass up”. You don’t just stumble onto amazing opportunities on the internet. The internet is rife with opportunity. With
that said all the good opportunities are well-kept secrets. You really have to independently search for them, they don’t come to you.
If an employer offers to send you a check in order to purchase equipment so you can get setup from home working for them. This has become a common scam. They tell you they overpaid you and hope before you realize the check is counterfeit, that you send them the money that was overpaid. Then you realize the check wasn’t real at all and you are out money.
I always say if it sounds too good to be true, then it is. The companies seem legit at first, they have interviews, make you sign stuff, ask questions. It’s the check up front that should tip you off it’s a scam.
Even though this is common, since I work with many moms new to the online world, they don’t realize this isn’t legit until it’s too late. Legit clients don’t buy your equipment, you use your own so that can clue you in too.
Another is if you are doing freelance or virtual assistant work and you are hired very quickly and easily. You will likely be told you don’t need any experience and they pay will be decent, maybe even really good. If you are given few details, cannot find the company online, and they tell you that you don’t need any experience, it’s likely a scam.
A legit client or employer will have a website with clear information and have some sort of job description. And based on the job description they will want some sort of experience even if it’s minimal. And you will usually have a face to face interview via an online platform rather than them hiring you without ever seeing or speaking to you.
It seems that people are always looking for a checklist or “secret recipe” to keep them out of hot water. In reality, common sense and the old adage “if it is too good to be true it probably is” are your best protections. If you read an ad or employment opportunity that promises six figure salaries while working 2 hours a day from home and the only qualification is that you need a computer, you might want to think twice before applying for the job.
Glaring indicators are huge, out of proportion incomes for the skill level required or even no skill required. Any job that requires you pay a fee to get the job should be an immediate red flag. Honest employers train employees on their dime you don’t have to pay for it or any other fee such as application fee, or processing fee. Any job that requires you to give your bank information or credit card or financial information should be fully vetted before turning that information over to them.
Note from Leslie
I have two pet peeves when it comes to working at home; 1) Scammers and 2) people who hope to find sign-up-do-nothing-get-paid. People who are looking for fast and easy, are the ones who are more likely to get scammed. I belong to several work-at-home Facebook groups, and by far the most popular posts are the scams and schemes.
It’s called “work” at home for a reason. And all work at home, whether it’s a job or a business, operates the same as in the real world. The above tips are spot on. Here are mine:
- If you’re looking for employment, you never have to pay to get hired (you might pay for a background check).
- Employers will never email you out of the blue with a job. They don’t have to search for employees. They post their jobs and people apply to them.
- Employers may require that you have specific equipment, but legitimate ones won’t sell it to you. You can get your equipment anywhere.
- Never use your personal bank account to help a company do business. You’ll lose your money and might go to jail for depositing a fake check.
- While there are jobs that don’t require a lot of experience, all jobs, even at McDonalds, require some skill.
- The pay is ridiculously high for the job.
- It’s email processing, envelope stuffing, assembly work, and other common scams. Be sure to check out WAHS 8 Work-At-Home Scams to Avoid