Use the tips and advice below to help you avoid online job scams.
For anyone looking to work online, a dream come true is usually finding something legit.
When you look at a lot of work from home blogs, you are most likely to bump into statements such as:
‘I quit my 9-5 to work online as I travel the world. As I write this post, I am at the airport waiting for my flight to my dream destination.’
‘I quit my corporate job, and now, I only work 4 hours per week and earn twice as much what I earned in my corporate.’
These are a dream come true to anyone looking to work online. But, there is the elephant in the room that we need to address – the numerous scams surrounding the online work field.
What I am trying to say is, at the start of your career, you should be keen on finding legit jobs that pay. That’s what matters at that moment.
And this is not to say that only beginners fall for the scams of working online. A lot of experienced freelancers fall into the trap too.
The trick is, you need to know how to spot a scam. You need to know how to detect one before you fall for it.
How do you detect work from home scams? How do you separate scams from legit jobs?
Let’s discuss top tips to avoid online job scams below.
Don’t forget: 19 Places To Find Remote Jobs From Home
Do a Google Search
You can use Google search to get the required information about the company or the business opportunity. Search the companies name using keywords like ‘scam’ and ‘review.’
Check both negative and positive reviews about the company. People who have had an unpleasant experience with the company often write a negative review online about the company. Make good use of these.
Ensure you go past the first page of Google because negative reviews can get hidden below other pages.
Here are tips to know if the company is a scam:
- The job description is too good to be true.
- There’s little to no information on the company website.
- There are warnings about the company on Google
- The employer communicates poorly and sometimes rudely when asked about their company
- They don’t answer queries online
If you spot the above red flags, it’s safer to walk away.
Are They Publicly Visible?
Scammers usually do not want to found. So they always hide crucial information about their companies from the public. Check their website. Look for its name, company’s history, activity on social media, and contact information.
Scammers usually hide or use fake phone numbers, addresses and online accounts.
If you are at crossroads, try to communicate with the company. Get more information about the company or opportunity. If the CEO’S name is given, search it online. If the information relates to that on their website, you can try to apply for the job. If the information is different or hidden, there are high chances that you are being scammed.
Check out if the employer is using personal emails or mobile numbers. Check out for grammatical and spelling errors on their website. This sounds like something minor, but it’s a sure thing that they don’t invest in anything. Try to contact the company directly.
Are they Socially Present and Active?
A genuine company should have testimonials and reviews from customers and previous employees online. They need to be socially active. Do they have social media? How active are they on their social handles?
If you check and get testimonials and reviews, try to reach out to the clients and employees and get to know the company more. Previous employees will have something to say about working with them.
Check if the company has been featured on any major media outlet or significant publication. If they have, they will be proud of it and post it online to build their status.
By checking their reviews and testimonials, you will be able to make the right decision about the company and be confident. Be keen to notice negative testimonials about the company.
Also, note that some positive reviews might be false.
Are they Making Exaggerated Claims?
You should be keen to notice if the company is making exaggerated claims. Mostly they make false claims to attract more people whom they can scam. They may claim to offer a job without giving you an interview.
Normally the hiring process takes some time. They will contact you and promise you a good wage which will make you rich within a short time.
Some claims may include:
- They will offer a high salary for entry-level work. You should know what competitors are offering. If the company you are sending your application to is offering something ridiculously higher, something could be fishy.
- They will give a job post without the experience needed – There is a lot of experienced workforce out there.
- They will promise you to get rich after a short period of time
- They want you to believe the job opportunity is available for a short time – they rush you to apply
Did you apply for the job?
Normally freelancers apply for multiple job posts with several companies and end up forgetting some of them. If you do not follow up on your job applications, you may fall victim to scamming.
Scammers make unwanted job offers via email or phone. Mostly it may seem genuine because you have not been keeping track of job applications. Check if the job is listed on the company’s website or social profile.
If a company approaches you instead of the other way round, proceed with caution.
Plan, track, manage and organize your entire job applications. This will help you to avoid scams and know actual dates for your interviews.
Follow Your Intuition
Scammers usually take advantage of the emotions of desperate people looking for jobs. Usually, the scammer will not give you time to make the right decisions. They will try to make you act fast.
Any legitimate company or employer will not make you take a quick decision. They take their time to select the best there is. If it seems so urgent, be cautious.
They may try to hide their job responsibilities. They may also tell you to apply for the job fast because only a few vacancies are left for the post.
Furthermore, they can also be demanding. They may also try hard to convince you the job is legitimate. Legit employers won’t beg you to apply for a job in a competitive field.
Don’t think twice about walking away. First, if the employer or the company is too pushy, and sounds unrealistic, walk away. That’s a clear sign that you may end up losing your money.
Don’t feel trapped doing something you are uncomfortable with. More than likely, your instincts are correct. You don’t want to end up saying, ‘I suspected something was not right, but I decided to give it a try anyways.’ This is what most people that get scammed online end up saying.
They ask for Money
One top red flag is an employer who asks you to pay money, probably for training or registration, processing or application fee.
Any job that needs you to pay money is most probably illegitimate. They should be the ones paying you, and it’s after you work. And most honest employers will train you on their dime. Be keen before dishing out money for training.
If they ask for your bank information or any other financial information, be on the watch out before dishing that out.
Do a Search on the Following Sites
The websites below will be instrumental in investigating any company you are looking to work for. These sites will most likely point you in the correct direction.
This website will help you see if a company has a positive or negative review.
Many companies lie about being members of BBB and go ahead and post the BBB logo on their site. Always do a manual search on the BBB site, using the company’s name or URL.
If you are looking to join a direct sales business opportunity, check it out on DSA.org. For a company to become a member of DSA, it has to ace a strict ethical code of conduct.
Note though, many direct sales members of DSA. But, it’s a reasonable assurance if it’s a member. It helps you remain on the safe side.
Glassdoor allows you to search for jobs, but notably, it also allows you to read reviews of companies from their present and past employees.
Search for the name of the company on Glassdoor’s review tab. Companies are usually rated zero to 5 stars. You can analyze every comment to learn what every employee felt about working for the company.
Indeed is popularly known to be a career website. But now, you could use it to separate legit jobs from scams. Indeed lets people post their resumes on their site. Scammers often take this advantage to reach out to people looking for work-from-home gigs.
Just be sure to do a thorough research of a company before making any decision.
If someone has fallen victim to online work scams, they will most likely post their experience on WAHM. This website is a large community of freelancers that you could take advantage of to be on the same side.
The community lets you post everything from your conversation with potential employers to get any additional details you are looking for.
When working online, your first goal should be to get legit work from opportunities. There are a lot of scams in the field, especially looking to take advantage of desperate freelancers. Always proceed with caution.
If something sounds even a little questionable, drop it right that moment. It is always better to stay on the same side, rather than risk and end up losing your time and money.
You don’t want to work for free or lose your money to something that doesn’t even exist.
Alright, we’ve come to the end. Use the above tips to secure only legit work-from-home jobs.
Before you leave, what other tips do you use to avoid online job scams? Have you ever fallen victim to a work-from-home scam? Please let us know in the comment box below.