How To Avoid Remote Job Scams

How To Avoid Remote Job Scams

Sadly, there are always downsides to good things, and working remotely isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

One of the biggest challenges, in fact, is avoiding the many scams out there that are targeted at people who want remote work but who are a bit less experienced in the market and thus, won’t know a scam when they see one.

Fortunately, we’ve got a great guide that can help you beat the remote job scams and ensure that every opportunity you apply for is legit.


How To Find Out If A Work From Home Job Is A Scam

This step-by-step process for evaluating an opportunity won’t let you down when it comes to your job search for a remote job, as long as you follow it carefully:

  • Acknowledge that work-from-home job scams exist and that all job seekers can potentially be victims of such a scam. It’s worth noting that those aged 25-34 are most likely to be scammed, though older people tend to lose more money when they are scammed in this way.
  • Find their website. Nobody offers remote jobs without, at least, having some sort of online presence. If you can’t find your would-be employer’s website, ask them where it is, look at it and if it’s not legitimate, neither are they. Get out. Check out some of these online transcription jobs and look at their websites to see what genuine opportunities look like.
  • Look for signs of “spoofing”. Top quality scammers know that people looking for remote jobs are smarter enough to expect the company to provide convincing job information. Spoofing is the act of impersonating a real company online. Make sure that web addresses are legit – it’s amazon.com, not amazon.a.com, the same goes for e-mails. Branding should be present and used correctly and if the URL has HTTP rather than HTTPS in it? That’s a big warning sign.
  • Find the company’s reviews online. If they are offering work-from-home jobs, then they must have done some sort of job for somebody in the past, right? Legitimate companies have reviews and online history. Check databases such as LinkedIn, Yelp, Glassdoor, Virtual Vocations, etc., and see what you can learn about the people offering you a job. And definitely, check them out with the Better Business Bureau which has its own Scam Tracker.
  • Beware if too much personal information is sought upfront. A job shouldn’t need your bank account, social security number, etc. on their first contact with you. It is natural for HR to need this kind of info during an onboarding process, after all, remote jobs need to result in the job holder being paid but don’t divulge any financial information until you’re sure the company is what it claims to be.
  • Dodgy email addresses. It used to be a near certainty that an @gmail.com or @hotmail.com meant a scam. Now, there are company accounts on these platforms and those companies have real jobs to fill, but be careful, the more amateurish that an email appears to be, the more checking you should do before giving out any personal data.
  • Too much urgency in the process. Sure, they need to fill the job but if there’s a ton of pressure to “act now” or the “opportunity” will go away? It’s probably a scam. A real company can wait a day or two to fill a vacancy.
  • Low-quality job adverts. You don’t need to be Shakespeare to post a job ad. But you do need to be able to spell the job title and the ad should include a decent outline of the job and the right demands for experiences and qualifications. If in doubt compare several similar positions on different job boards. You can find remote work (such as these graphic design positions) without experience but not every job can be done by someone without qualifications or experience.
  • They ask you to accept checks on their behalf. This is guaranteed to be a scam. 100% of the time. The worst part is, that not only will you lose money, but you could end up in serious trouble for money laundering. Don’t do it.
  • You’re offered a job that you didn’t apply for. Nearly 80% of job scams according to the BBB are initiated by the scammer not the person being recruited.
  • It all seems too good to be true. Don’t be afraid to ask for more details, visit their social media, ask for an alternative phone number and ask as many questions as you want. It is perfectly reasonable to want to protect yourself against a scam and any rational employer will do what they can to put your fears to rest.

conclusion

Fake jobs that lead to financial loss are very real on the internet and while not every employer is a bunch of scammers in disguise, it pays to be cautious and do your research before you give anyone enough info that could lead to you becoming a victim of a scam.

If you follow our process above, you should be able to find a legit work-at-home or remote role, but we would strongly urge you to go to the police if you become the victim of an online work-at-home scam. This will help prevent others from ending up in the same position in the future.

Morgan Graff
Morgan Graff
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