It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of starting your work-from-home career, but sometimes scammers use this excitement to their advantage. How do you avoid falling into their trap? These experts give their tips and advice on what to look for and how not to fall prey to those that may want to rip you off.
Veronika Adriane suggests to always read the fine print, and to ask lots of questions before starting any work-at-home job.
Website: Fantastic Services Franchise
Always be skeptical and ask questions. Is the offered payment so high? Why would an employer pay you, not an establishment? Will earn only by commission and how could this go wrong?
They want you to pay a fee to start the job? Sometimes you have to spend money to earn money, like but be ready to run. I advise you to make a thorough investigation on the company.
Always read the contract. This is the legal basis of the whole ordeal.
Mahesh Kumar stresses the importance of researching the company you are interested in.
Spend Money to Make Money: A legitimate company doesn’t require you to pay for a job opportunity. In fact,you are looking for jobs to get paid, not to pay for jobs.
Non-Existent or No Contact Information: The most simple way of testing a job advertisement whether it is a scam or not is to check out the contact details of the company that is offering the job. For instance, you can call on the phone number provided in the advertisement and find out whether it is answered by a real person or a voicemail message.
Website Uses Geo-Targeting: Another dubious way of online job scammers is to lure job seekers with job advertisements targeted as per their current location. For example if you are in Oklahoma, you may see job advertisement saying “Data Entry Jobs for Oklahoma Residents Only!”
Yolanda Crowley states, “A lot of these scammers prey on members in online group boards. If you notice any of these, it’s best to back away. It’s a job scam!”
Website: Crowley Assistant Services, LLC
If an advertisement has very little details about the duties or business and any questions asked for clarification are ignored.
If the person posting does respond to questions, they won’t give a direct answer, other than to say, “Message me for more details”.
If the advertisement states, “No skills required – make up to $1,000 a week!”
If an online advertisement won’t let you apply unless you get your friends to join / sign up on the website
Dana Westerfield also urges you to research the company AND listen to your gut!
Website: Go For It! Career Consulting, LLC
DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don’t blindly apply to WAH postings on job boards. Research the company and check out their website. Does it look legit? Do they have the job postings listed there? If you are still on the fence, Google the company name and see what reviews you can come up with. The Better Business Bureau is an excellent resource. FlexJobs also offers a lot of information on companies well known for offering WAH positions.
HANG ON TO YOUR MONEY. Legitimate employers will not ask you to send money to get started. You should never have to pay money to get hired. WAH scams usually require money out of pocket up front — referring to it as start up costs/investments.
ASK QUESTIONS. If your research looks promising and there are no out of pocket costs associated with the role, still be sure to ask good questions! What does the job actually consist of? How will you get paid? The company should be open with you about everything.
TRUST YOUR GUT! If it feels like something is wrong, it probably is.
Geoff Scott, tells us to check reviews and to most definitely go over any documentation with a fine toothed comb.
Pay attention to the freelancer reviews of each potential client. Although there are legitimate people out there looking for freelance work who have never been reviewed before, there are many others that have. If a client has a swath of positive reviews, it’s a good sign that they are trustworthy.
Ensure payment security. Many Freelancing websites (ours included) have payment verification processes that protect both the client and the freelancer. This can be done in a variety of ways. One method is the escrow system, where a third party holds onto a client’s money and distributes it to you once you reach certain amount. This is more popular for large freelancing projects, and it’s a nice way to receive compensation in chunks rather than a lump sum. Another method is using a verification system, where clients must prove their identity with things like a scanned copy of a passport/valid photo ID, copies of utility bills, etc. This is popular amongst freelancing platforms, which then give verified clients a checkmark to let freelancers know they can be trusted. By taking the anonymity out of the process and having a verified person on the other end, it becomes harder to get scammed.
Read the fine print. This might be the most important step of all. See what the payment policy is, what the scope of the project is, and what the qualifications required are. If such details aren’t listed, you should definitely be suspicious. A good client will make such information clear, in order to avoid wasting both your time and their own time.
Notes from Leslie:
The above suggestions are excellent!
One of the biggest problems with scammers is that they’re master copy writers and manipulators. They use words that promise to fix all your financial woes easily and quickly, tapping into emotion that overrides good sense. Plus, they work to give themselves the appearance of legitimacy, sometimes by using legitimate companies’ names, other times by making their requirements sound like a legitimate job or opportunity. For example, the “rebate jobs” a few years back touted that you can make money helping companies process rebates. They often had the logos of legitimate companies. But it wasn’t a job. It was a deceptive scheme to sell you information about affiliate marketing (which is legit, but it’s not a job). My tips for staying safe:
- Know the common and current scams.
- If you’re looking for a job, you shouldn’t be asked for money (except maybe for a background check). Learn how to determine if a listing is a job or a scam.
- Never ever use your personal bank account to help a company do business. Legitimate companies can accept payments directly. Anyone telling you different is pulling a fake check scam on you.
- Never take a job accepting and re-sending packages. That could land you in jail for accepting stolen property.
- Never spend money until you do you research. Google the opportunity. Visit work-at-home forums. Any legitimate opportunity will be around tomorrow, next week, or next month. You don’t need to decide now.
- Use common sense. Have you ever met anyone who stuff envelopes? Glues bird houses or other assembly work? Process emails? No, because they’re scams.
- Check out WAHS Scam Alert page as well as our posts on scams to stay informed.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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