The job market is notoriously hard to crack, even without the added difficulty of navigating job scams.
However, with the advent of work-from-home opportunities, scammers have found a new target: remote workers.
More people are inclined to take up work-from-home positions today than they used to be. Scammers know this and use it to their advantage. It can be easy to fall prey to these scammers since these listings tend to look exactly like a legitimate offer.
How can you tell the difference then? And what should you do to protect yourself from work-from-home job scams?
This post will cover the following:
What are Work-From-Home Job Scams?
Let’s start by defining what these scams look like. The name is pretty self-explanatory. These scams are disguised to look like a real opportunity where you can work entirely from home. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
While some positions can be performed remotely, most of the opportunities you come across on job sites are scams. These scammers are only looking to steal information or money from you.
Some of these listings can be quite obviously fake, with bad grammar and spelling. Some others can be meticulously done with fake companies or even spoofed actual companies. They might even go out of their way to steal the identities of real people to give themselves some credibility.
The point is, work-from-home scams can look deceptively real, and it can be challenging to tell these scams apart. But there’s a way out.
Work From Home Red Flags to Look Out For
The good news is, there are some red flags you can look out for that are indicators of malicious listings:
1. The listing is filled with bad spelling and errors
Professional hiring managers do not make simple spelling errors. If a listing is filled with improper grammar or typos, chances are the listing is a scam. Even with reputable job-seeking websites, there is a chance you will stumble upon such fraudulent listings.
We spend 9% of our time writing, 16% reading, 30% speaking, and 45% listening, with or without our knowledge. So, by combining all of these abilities, you can identify fraudulent job postings and save both your time and money.
2. The listing does not have company details
If the post does not mention the company’s name or include a company website, that is a pretty big red flag. An actual recruiter will not have a problem with disclosing the details of the company. However, if the post has vague descriptions like “big company,” “large MNC,” etc., stay clear of the offer.
3. They ask for payment
Job positions do not require you to pay for anything. There is no registration or processing fee. That is a red flag if you are being asked to pay hidden fees or a small mandatory course fee to get hired.
Make sure rather than listening, you are effectively listening to their demands. Because, according to studies, people only listen to 25% of what they hear. Keep in mind that work-from-home jobs do not need any form of registration. Some jobs require employees to have specific certifications, but these aren’t hidden under job listings. Stay clear of these opportunities.
4. Suspicious email address
When you receive communication from a potential recruiter, always check out the sender’s email. Legitimate recruiters usually have a company domain email, which typically goes like firstname.lastname@example.org. Regular Gmail addresses can be legitimate sometimes, but more often than not, they will end up being a scam. If you see a recruiting email with a garbled address or a gmail.com ending, proceed with caution.
5. The compensation offered is greater
This is the one that might be the hardest to spot. As a general rule of thumb, always research the position you are trying to land and the compensation usually offered for that role. Work-from-home jobs can vary in salary and benefits, but they won’t be drastically better in comparison. Check out Glassdoor reviews of the norm in your field and educate yourself on what to expect before you reply to these listings.
Best Practices to Prevent Remote Job Scams
- Ask questions about the company. Don’t hesitate to ask about the specifics of the job. We spend nearly 70-80 percent of our day communicating in some form. So, why not put it to use for our benefit?
- Get the recruiter’s name, the company’s name, and verify it by calling the company beforehand. A live conversation can benefit you since a professional can speak only up to 150 words per minute, even though he can think of 400 words per minute. So, if there are any booby traps, you can spot them by the way they speak.
- If you are asked to pay for training, tell them you’ll pay after getting the job. This is a good way of weeding out the scammers.
- Another intelligent way of handling payments, if required, is to ask for a direct bank transfer. The bank details will give you an idea of whether the company is legit or not. Do not agree to send money to personal accounts.
It can be hard to find jobs in a flooded market with work from home job scams. The best you can do is find a trusted website, follow these safe practices and stay vigilant.
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