Working from home productively is an ideal situation for people looking for a flexible work schedule, save travel time and money and get involved with the family more. You might already have figured out what kind of home based job is great for you. However, finding great online jobs from home is not as easy as it may sound. Despite the availability of thousands of legitimate work-from-home jobs, scams related to online home based jobs are also becoming more common.
Work from home job scams come in all sizes and forms, i.e. unbelievable offers, making money faster, wire transfer schemes, making massive money with low or no investment, claims processing, refund-recovery work, and what not!
Unfortunately, a big number of people becomes the victim of these scams just because they do not really know how to spot a scam. This article will guide you through a few clear easy ways to spot fake online job ads and save yourself from any possible fraud.
Step 1: Spotting a Fake Online Job
You can spot most of the job ad scams with just a few simple techniques, i.e.:
- They are using Gmail/Hotmail or any other email address rather than email@example.com.
- Interview is supposed to be done through chat.
- The advertised salary is way beyond the market. For instance, offering a huge salary for a work from home job with no experience.
- The ad requires you to make some kind of payment for getting an interview call.
- You are told that you have been selected without a proper interview.
Sometimes, an ad may pass through all the above red flags, yet it is not a legitimate opportunity. So, spend some time carefully examining the job description they provided. A Legitimate work-from-home job ad should have a well written job description that includes a detailed list of responsibilities, required skills, qualifications and experience to help you evaluate whether or not you’re qualified for the opportunity.
A fake home based job ad on the other hand may only include a few bullet points, or makes it look like this is something where you don’t need to do much and just make a lot of money.
Step 2: Research the Company
If everything looks perfect with the quick screening mentioned in step one, do not rush to apply for the job instantly. Instead proceed with researching the company!
There are several ways to do so, i.e. a simple Google search should reveal if the company exists or not. Check the website and social media profiles of the company. Do not forget to check the company’s LinkedIn page and it can reveal key people working there. Look at reviews, explore about the company on business complaint sites.
If the company doesn’t have a website, or social media presence on social media, or a single review, it’s more likely a scam.
Step 3: Stay Alert & Inquire as Needed
Even after filtering a job ad and scrutinizing a company, there are chances of becoming a victim of a fraudulent home based job opportunity. Remember, never take an online home based job if you haven’t at least interviewed by phone or video call. So be prepared to identify a red signal as soon as it appears.
Considering that you are invited to an in-person interview or a video call; asking the right questions is your way to uncover the reality. And here’s what you can do:
- Take note of the job description/role and responsibilities and ask a lot of detailed questions about their expectations of you.
- Ask questions like what will be your work from home schedule, number of hours you are required to work, will it include any additional responsibilities etc.
- Do not hesitate to ask how the company makes money, because that’s how you know how they are utilizing your talents. If you are not comfortable asking it directly, you may ask them what’s the major revenue stream of the company and if they want to expand it or not!
- Ask them about when and how they started, how many locations they are operating in etc. Match the answers with your research on the company and compare.
- Ask them about growth prospects, i.e. what type of training you will be receiving. If there’s something like a “paid training program”, it can be a red flag.
- If they need your personal financial information, like credit card etc, it’s a big red flag.
- Make sure to ask the name of the interviewer(s) and research the people just like you researched the company. LinkedIn is the biggest and best professional networking platform and can reveal a lot about people, i.e. who they are connected to, where else they worked and so on.
The Bottom Line:
No matter how desperately you need a job, do not rush to apply and take a job without making sure that it is a legitimate opportunity. A little research and patience can save you from a big disappointment.