By September 10, 2013 Read More →

How to stay away from job scams

Job scams – the negative side of home working

Job scamsSometimes I’m asked for advice on finding a work from home job, and I tell people to be very wary of online ‘opportunities’, as so many of them are simply job scams.

So I’m pleased to publish today’s guest post by FlexJobs, which lists thousands of pre-screened, legitimate, and professional-level work from home jobs.

Here Brie of FlexJobs advises what to look out for:

Whether you’re already working from home or you’re just getting started, one of the most important things to do is protect yourself from work from home job scams. As the work from home job industry grows, scammers are getting more creative in their attempts to lure unsuspecting job seekers. Stay away from scams and find real work from home jobs with these four tips.

1. First and foremost, trust your instincts. In the heat of the job search moment, it’s easy to go along with a job application or interview where something just doesn’t seem quite right. After all, finding a work-from-home job isn’t easy, so when a company shows interest, it’s not hard to get swept up in the moment. But if something seems off to you, step back and rethink the job.

2. Know the most common work from home job scams. These include “quick” jobs like envelope stuffing, rebate processing, craft assembly, check cashing, data entry, wire transfers, sales pyramid schemes, and shipping/packaging management. One of the most devastating and common job scams happens when an employer requests that you move money around for them. Anytime an employer asks you to cash a cheque, wire them money, or use your personal bank account for job purposes, walk away.

3. Learn to spot scammy behavior. Bogus companies offering work from home jobs often seem legitimate at first. They may have a website, a LinkedIn profile, and a “real” job description. But the following behaviours should be seen as red flags:

  • Job interviews conducted solely over instant messenger (IM)
  • Job offers given after only a brief conversation
  • Pressure to accept a job offer quickly
  • Pressure to quit your current job immediately
  • Any request for money for supplies, software, or training

4. Do your research before committing to any job. The Internet has made spotting scam jobs and companies much easier. Do a quick Google search for the company’s name and the keyword “scam” to see what comes up. Make sure you have the company’s name and learn about its history through its own website, LinkedIn, and a general search. If you can’t find this information, or what you find is sparse and incomplete, you may have found a job scam.

Legitimate work-from-home jobs absolutely exist, and can be found in most career areas and experience levels. The key when searching for a work from home job is to do your research, trust your instincts, and educate yourself on common scams. Once you know what to avoid, it’s easy to spot and stay away from job search scams, and uncover the real opportunities.

Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Director of Content and Community at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting and flexible job listings. Brie provides career and job search advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media.

Posted in: Making money

2 Comments on "How to stay away from job scams"

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  1. mammasworkathome says:

    I have searched the internet, several times in the past and mosly for pyramid schemes, for company names followed by the word “scam”. Most of the times, I have found articles titled “Is the X company a scam?” written by the company itself or by its members’ websites. It is a SEO trick so that their content ranks higher than real scam victims’.

    • Thanks, Mammas, that’s a really useful point. Apparently in Canada and the US there is something called the Better Business Bureau where companies are listed and ranked to make this kind of information easier to find, but I’m not aware of anything similar in the UK. Can anyone suggest any other ways to check out a business?