How to Spot Work From Home Scams

Mar 22


Tina Lynn

Tina Lynn

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Sometimes scams are hard to spot. The internet crooks are becoming harder and harder to detect. Looking for a decent job is hard enough without the load of crap along with it. But knowing the difference between the two doesn't have to be mystery if you can spot the warning flags.

If you've seen one scam,How to Spot Work From Home Scams Articles you've probably seen them all. Right? Well not necessarily. As the schemes get more clever, the concept is all the same; money. If you are seeking a job, not a business, you should never pay a fee. Legit employers are not going to require money for work. That is what they pay you for. On a different note, should you decide to pay for work home job leads, know that it is not necessary. You can always get these free. Though it does require a little leg work and your best choice for deciding the method depends on your circumstances. If you are someone who has a limited amount of time, it may be best to look into purchasing leads for a low cost as some online job applications are lengthy (do not always expect to send off a cover and resume). That being said, if you are home during the day and have more time on your hands, searching is the best way. Though despite what method you choose for information, there are some common scams that you need to be aware of, if you are not already.

Make Thousands Filling Out Surveys (same goes for Mystery Shopping)

This type of scam may not be so obvious because there are actually legitimate survey companies that pay for you to complete surveys (the ones that are legit only pay pocket change). If you don't mind submitting personal information for a few bucks, go for it. Hot Shot companies pay these survey companies to ask you questions on a range of topics to better target their products. For example, if I owned a company that helped mothers lose weight, I would want to target moms. And I would be interested in knowing everything about them. When they watched TV? How many out of the amount surveyed stayed home, worked etc.. This is one way commercials are targeted. However, if you encounter websites that offer you money or free merchandise for filling out forms, you may be required to sign up with a few of their sponsors, not without a fee or trial service (these are not legit). If you are into surveys check out Annika's Site and Volition. These sites are your best sources for information on this topic and more.

300 - 500 Per Month Data Entry

This is a scam. Once you contact the person who posted this job, they will email you a generic email asking money for training materials. There really is no training materials. The data entry part comes into play because you have to post jobs, doing exactly what the person before you did to earn money. There are legit data entry companies but they will not charge you a fee.

Pyramid Schemes / Lottery Winnings

A pyramid scheme is when money changes hands, but there is no product being sold. This is sort of like those emails or job postings you see that is really really long and has something to the effect of inputting your name on the list of 5 and sending each one of them $5.00 by paypal. This is illegal and is most definitely a scam.

If you receive a Congratulations email for something you did not sign up for, it may be a scam. Some of these scammers use real charities and tell you that your email address was randomly chosen. There is no way to track email addresses so this is false. Do not get sucked in to this lie and do not offer any additional information.

Nigerian Scams (Overseas)

You get an email from someone overseas (some owner of a company) explaining that your urgent assistance is requested for transferring money to the U.S. Ask yourself, why would they hire you to do this? They are going to pay you thousands of dollars to get you to wire them money. No Way! They then request your account information and you think it's legit when you see the money in your account. You withdraw the money, keep your portion, and wire them the rest. In a few days, you find out that you have a negative balance in your account and this guy isn't anywhere to be found. That's right. They have just received thousands of dollars, on your expense and there is nothing you can do about it. If you decide to work for a company that has a telecommute program, do not freely offer your account information. Get them to mail your check. The company may be legit, but since you are working from home, this way ensures your ultimate safety.

Other Indicators

1. First and most important, do they charge a fee? Don't fall for the training materials bid. You should never be forced to pay for any kind of materials to get hired. Do not accept any type of checks or payment of any kind for software or hardware. Scammers will do this to lure you in and make you think they are legit. In the end, you are left owing your bank the money while they pocket yours. Do not give in to the background or credit checks request. Most companies will pay for this themselves or deduct this from your first paycheck. There should never be a reason to charge an employee a fee.

2. Does the job posting specify the name of the company? Some companies may not want to conceal this information within a job posting. Though keep this in mind, once you submit your resume, aren't you offering your information? If a job posting does not specify the name of the company, be cautious.

3. How does the website look? Is it sloppy? Are there numerous advertising on the sidebars? This doesn't always indicate a scam, though you should still be cautious. What kind of details are on the website? Do they fully disclose their history and their address detail in the contact? Or is it just an email address? If there is a number, is it toll free? If you decide to try calling the number, does it immediately go to voicemail, keep ringing, or present prompts for live contact?

4. Does the website include testimonials? Why would a company want to do this, if they are not trying to sell you something? Hint. Hint.

5. Check the website on Whois. This checks their domain. if they are a legit company, you will know it by seeing when they started the website. It's very interesting to see a post for a company that claims to have been in business since 1985, though just bought a domain name last month. Hummm.

6. Does the job posting clearly define the description for the job? You are probably wondering if anyone would apply to a job posting without any knowledge of the job. To your surprise, it's done everyday.

7. What are other employees saying about the company? Can't find other employees, try asking on a thread in the Work at Home Mom, telecommuting message board. Or type in the name of the company and forums (you can also use message board) into the search option for google. Like this; inurl:"forums" Cingular.

8. What type of application process and requirements are they asking for? Is it a "no experience required job" or "no resume needed" type of posting. Uhh Ohh! Beware. Not in every situation does this spell trouble, but you may need to do your homework.

9. Do they make any outrageous payment claims, such as making thousands a month. Or even $17 - $30 an hour for something like telemarketing. This may indicate it being more of a business, than a job.

10. Does an employer contact you first without you even applying? Most of the time, scammers will use trickery claiming they received your resume through careerbuilder or monster and try to pitch you a job this way. This is almost never legit and is considered spam. You should label it this way in your email to protect yourself and get them offline, for good.

11. Does the job posting profess media recognition such as "As Seen on Oprah" or something to that effect. This does not mean that it was not seen on Oprah. I mean who in their right mind wouldn't accept those bragging rights. However, still check the company out. This could be a sign for something fishy.

12. Does the job posting state words to convince you of their legitimacy such as "real" work from home, or "legit" home job? A real company does not need to convince you and most certainly would not have the time to try.

13. Is the job posted numerous amount of times? This right off may not signify a scam. However, consider that once a work home job has been posted the amount of replies from just that one posting. Why would a company want thousands of resume entries? Are they really going to sort through them all? Or is the contact information the ticket they need for product promotion? Think about it. How easy is it for a company to fabricate job information in exchange for your personal information. They can most easily sell your information for spam (allowing them more money for advertising these fake jobs) or use it to market whatever product they are selling.

In closing make sure to take action once you become suspicious of a work from home company. Check the BBB, the Rip off Report, and Scam Busters. Now that your scam free, the only thing a scammer can do once they cross your path, is move on to the next person.