5 Ways to Spot a ‘Work From Home’ Scam
Career Development Anyone can be the victim of a work-from-home scam, but if you know the red flags, you can skip over the fakes and secure a legitimate job.
With a 60-to-1 scam ratio among work-at-home job leads—that is, for every 60 opportunities you may see, only one will be legitimate—job seekers are often victimized. And with the infinite expansion of the web, scams can come from all over the world.
Here are five red flags to watch out for in your job search.
1. The job offer arrives as spam.
If you haven’t applied for a job, an offer is beyond fishy. Don’t click on any links; just delete.
2. “High pay and no experience necessary.”
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Pay is by cashier’s check, with directions to wire remaining funds.
This is the hallmark of a “mystery shopper” scam. Your bank may accept the check and credit funds to your account, but when it bounces, you’re on the hook for the money you wired.
4. You’re required to pay a fee for the job.
You should almost never pay for a job. A few exceptions are background- or credit-check fees, and occasionally training fees for independent contractors.
5. The job description is vague.
Real jobs come with detailed descriptions. Vagueness usually indicates a shady intent.
Scams may abound, but don’t despair: legitimate home-based jobs are more numerous than ever. Fortune 500s such as American Express, Xerox, UnitedHealth Group and Apple all hire home-based workers. IT workers are routinely home-based, and “distributed teams” are proliferating. Keep your “scam radar” on and you’ll find a job that fits.