The biggest problem with working at home is getting started. It’s tough! There are more scams than real opportunities out there, and lots of people get sucked in, not knowing any better. There has to be a way to avoid work at home job scams, right?
Actually, there are several ways.
There’s no way to 100% guarantee you won’t fall for a scam, but many are so obvious that you can avoid them just by paying attention.
1. Ridiculously high pay.
If the pay is amazingly high for the amount of effort, it’s probably a scam. Thousands of dollars a month for easy, part time work – scam!
This is particularly common with the classic check cashing or shipping scams. No one is going to send you a check to mystery shop a place and have you send back the excess. That’s not how it’s done. That check is going to bounce hard, and you’ll be responsible. That part of the money you got to keep won’t compare to what you lose.
2. No resume required.
Real employers want to know about your past work experience. They are not going to hire every person who contacts them. They want the best person for the job, and your resume is a part of how they screen out the people they know they don’t want.
Scammers don’t much care about your resume. They don’t care about your past work experience. They want to suck you in quickly and get your personal information and/or money. Resumes are nothing to scammers.
3. Call for information.
Work at home positions don’t have people for you to call for more information. Real businesses are too busy with their business to deal with that many job seekers. When it’s a work at home job on the line, there will be a lot of people calling if there’s a number available, and employers know it.
Scammers want to talk to you. How else are they going to get you to bite? They want to appeal to your dreams of an easy work at home job with high pay. That’s easier to do with personal contact.
A similar scam is on social media, when the company asks you to pm them for details. This happens a lot in groups for job seekers. Legitimate companies will tell you who they are. A request for a pm is either a scam or an opportunity that for one reason or another can’t be posted publicly. If you do respond to one of these, use caution.
4. Ad says “work at home.”
For the most part, legitimate work at home positions are labeled as “telecommute” or “remote” positions. It’s certainly not a featured part of the ad. Real employers want the best person for the job, not the one who first notices the chance to work at home and then the job requirements.
Scammers know people type things like “work at home” into job boards and search engines. Having that phrase feature prominently in the ad is one way to get your attention.
That said, some legitimate jobs will be listed as “work at home.” Consider this a caution sign, not an absolute dealbreaker.
5. “No Experience Necessary.”
Sure, there are remote jobs out there that don’t require experience. They aren’t that common, however. Working at home is demanding, and employers want to know that you have at least some sort of work experience, preferably in the industry you’re about to start working in. If experience isn’t an absolute necessity, they may call it something more along the lines of “entry level position.”
Scammers, once again, don’t care about your work experience. They count on your desperation to find some sort of work at home.
6. Vague job listing.
One of the great things about the internet is that employers can give details about what they’re looking for in an employee. It’s not like it was when job ads were usually in the newspaper, and space came at a premium.
These days you should expect to see specific skill and/or experience requirements in job ads. Employers don’t want tons of resumes from people who aren’t remotely qualified for the position. They want to hear from people who have as many of the skills listed as possible and a willingness to earn the rest.
Scammers don’t need to give a lot of information. They know the suckers are going to contact them anyway.
7. Pay to show your interest.
Scammers love to talk about how many people are interested in their opportunity. That’s why they need you to send them some money to show that you’re serious about the opportunity. It gets rid of all the people who aren’t serious about this fantastic opportunity you’re going to miss out on if you don’t send in your money.
When was the last time you heard about a company wanting people to pay to apply? Never sounds about right.
8.They want your bank account information.
Some scams will ask for your bank account information, saying they want to direct deposit your pay. Direct deposit is a wonderful thing, you get your money faster, but be careful in sharing your banking information with anyone.
If you want direct deposit for your pay, make absolutely certain the opportunity is legitimate first. You may have to work a while and receive paper paychecks for a time to be certain if the company is not well known. Even if you have researched the company, make sure you’re really dealing with who you think you’re dealing with, as some scams steal the names of legitimate companies to gain your trust.
9. The interview is through Google Hangouts.
I don’t know why it is, but many scam companies like to use Google Hangouts or other messaging apps to conduct “interviews.”
10. They use Gmail or other free email.
Legitimate companies use email addresses set up through their own domains, not Gmail. It’s a great service for individuals, but utterly unprofessional for real businesses.
Scammers, on the other hand, love how easy it is to set up free email addresses. They can often get a free email address with the name of a legitimate company as a part of their email address.
When in doubt, check with the company you think you’re in contact with another way. Go to their website and find a different way to contact them. Companies that hire people who work at home are generally well aware that scammers steal their good names to trick people. They should quickly be able to tell you if you’re really in contact with them.
Knowing how to avoid work at home scams is vital to your work at home job hunt. There are few things as frustrating as falling for a scam. It takes away from the time you could better spend on finding a legitimate work at home job. Do your best to avoid work at home job scams so you don’t waste your time.