As access to the Internet and digital skills increase, more and more people want to work from home. However, as you might have heard, this search can sometimes become a nightmare, especially if you don’t take a few precautions. For instance, a Better Business Bureau (BBB) study revealed that around 14 million people are exposed to employment scams yearly, with $2 billion in losses annually.
If you are looking for a remote job, you must know how to protect yourself from losing your money, personal data, and time. Here are a few useful tips on how to avoid work-from-home job scams:
Research The Company And Person Who Contacted You
Before accepting a job offer, it’s best practice to research the company offering it. More specifically, you want to know if the company is legit and has a good track record concerning its relationship with its employees. You can find information about the organization on its website or googling it. In addition, it is a good idea to read reviews from its employees and look for any information that indicates whether the firm is legit or not. If you can’t find reliable details about a company, the offer is probably a scam.
Another way to ensure the job offer is not a scam is to research the person who contacted you. If you have their full name or phone number, run a background check on them on Nuwber to find out who stands behind the offer. You will also find this person’s social media profiles, address, criminal records, professional details, and more. All this will help you understand who you’re dealing with.
The more details you have at your disposal, the more likely you will end up working with someone who meets your expectations.
Pay Attention To Aggressive Tactics
You can often recognize a scam by tactics that urge you to take specific actions, such as providing your credit card number or sending an employer money for “training.” As you might know from experience, real employers often expect you to be eager to work for them, not vice versa. If someone who appears to be an employer is trying to make you decide fast on whether you should engage in a particular action, you are likely on the verge of being scammed.
Do Not Give Personal Information
Another red flag is being asked for sensitive personal information, such as a social security number, bank account number, or passwords. You should never provide anything of that to someone you do not know and trust.
Once you start working with an individual or company, you must provide payment details to get paid. Examples of data you might be asked to provide include PayPal, Bank details, or Payoneer addresses.
That being said, you should never give out your credit card number, even to a company that appears to be legit. There is no reason for anyone to have your credit card number.
Stay Away From Job Offers That Look Too Good To Be True
Generally speaking, a job offer seems too good to be true because it is a scam. Remote job scams usually promise large sums of money or other benefits for jobs that require little or no effort. They do so to attract as many applicants as possible, as this approach increases their chances of scamming someone.
As you can imagine, it’s unlikely that a company will pay you a lot of money if you provide them little value. As long as you are pragmatic about what to expect from a remote job that requires little effort and no qualifications, you should be fine.
Avoid Unexpected Job Offers
If you receive an unexpected job offer, the chances of it being a scam are significantly higher compared to other situations.
Legitimate companies advertise job offers on their official websites or reputable job boards instead of sending unexpected messages to random addresses.
Use Well-Known Remote Work Platforms And Stay Alert
If you are looking for remote work on online platforms, it is best practice to avoid unknown ones and spend time on sites such as LinkedIn or Indeed.
These sites have fairly strong verification processes, but that is not to say they are 100% safe. In other words, while the chances of being scammed on such platforms are lower, you still need to be alert and use other tips.
Be Careful With Email Addresses
Company names and logos can be stolen. A legitimate recruiter typically contacts you using a business email that takes the form of firstname.lastname@example.org.
As such, if you receive a job offer from a personal email address, be extra careful and thoroughly investigate the sender before considering the offer.
Besides using people search websites, you can also search the person’s name on LinkedIn and examine their first-degree connections to see if they are connected to other employees at the company. Even if you can find a connection, check for other details and be extra vigilant while communicating with potential employers.
Don’t Pay For a Remote Job
If someone asks you to pay for a remote job, it’s a clear sign that it’s a scam. You should never pay for remote work, not even if it is supposed to cover training costs. An individual or a company that wants to hire you will not ask for money from you, and you will receive compensation for work done during training.
Don’t Start Before You Have a Contract or Have Received an Escrow Payment
Do not provide work before you have a legal contract with an employer or, in the case of a gig project, an Escrow payment. Some employers, even if they are who they claim to be, don’t pay. Until they prove their trustworthiness, please do not give them work before payment.
Pay Attention To The Presence of Certain Keywords
Job scam ads are more likely to contain specific keywords, such as “quick money,” “unlimited earning potential,” and “passive income.”
If you see any of these keywords in a job offer, be extra vigilant, as the chances of the offer being a scam are significantly higher.
For some, the ability to work from home is a dream come true. However, finding good job offers can be challenging, especially when starting out.
You will be glad to know, however, that most online scams are not particularly sophisticated, meaning they are easy to identify. Looking for patterns is key. As long as you know what common scams look like and are vigilant, the chances of becoming a victim are slim.