By Mike Haaren – Co-Founder – June 12, 2017
Work from Home Jobs – 7 Signs of a Scam
Before you give personal details for that great job you just found in your search, make sure you don’t see any of these red flags. Scammers often use the same basic moves, and we see these tell-tale signs again and again.
Millions of trusting job seekers fall prey to scams each year. But with caution and information, you won’t be one of them!
— You’re contacted by an “employer” you didn’t apply to. We often hear from people who’ve gotten job offers out of the blue, asking if the offer is real. An “interviewer” will have the person’s resume, but never applied to the company for a job. That’s a big red flag!
Scammers harvest resumes from CareerBuilder, Monster and similar job sites and use them to find victims. They’ve also infiltrated LinkedIn and other networking sites. If you get an email or phone call from an “employer” you haven’t contacted, don’t fall for the “offer” — it’s almost certainly a scam. For more on spotting bogus LinkedIn messages, see this article in Forbes.
— “Beaches, Benjamins and Bling.” Scammers know that many job seekers are desperate for work. So they decorate their come-ons with the trappings of wealth. If the ad features Bentleys, beachfront villas, and $100 bills fanned out across the page, watch out. It’s probably not the Caribbean, but ePirates of the Caribbean.
— The job offer involves a “program,” a “system,” etc. A job is a job. The employer needs you for a specific role. Pitch the hay on the wagon, and get it in the barn. Feed the mules, slop the hogs. There is no “program” involved, no system, no kit, no membership fee. If someone offers you a program for slopping the hogs, it’s not a job. It’s a program.
— Your contact is using a Gmail or other non-corporate email address. This is not an ironclad rule, since some newer companies and smaller players may occasionally use non-corporate email. But on the whole, legitimate employers have corporate email accounts. If your contact has a non-corporate email address, be more cautious than usual, as scammers frequently use non-corporate accounts.
— High pay for entry level work. This often appears in data entry scams. If the “employer” is promising a high hourly rate for basic administrative work — especially when they emphasize “No Experience Necessary!” — you’re almost certainly in scam country. Many people are looking for entry level work, so employers don’t need to offer high pay to get help. Steer clear!
— The “job” involves wiring funds. This often shows up in mystery shopping scams, where victims are sent a cashier’s check. You’re told to deposit the check, and keep a generous fee — this is the worm on the nasty hook — plus money for the shopping you’ll do. Then wire the rest to your friendly hirer.
When the check bounces, you’re on the hook — with your bank for all the funds you withdrew. And since the scammer is usually overseas, the money you wired is gone forever. (For 11 legitimate hirers of Mystery Shoppers, click here.)
— The “employer” wants to interview you via text on Google Hangouts. Scammers always try to conceal their identity. Through text, they can create an illusion of legitimacy and urgency that would be hard — or impossible — for them to do with video. So they stick to text, and if you ask, they’ll refuse to move to video. Time for you to move, too.