As the gig economy grows, the promises of making it big by working from home also multiply.
Many people are already on high alert when searching jobs on Craigslist, but online job scammers have gotten more sophisticated, and some may still slip past your radar.
According to FlexJobs’ annual Super Survey, 82% of job seekers are worried they will fall for a job scam. Thirteen percent have been a victim and 22% say they know someone who has been a victim of a job scam.
Besides heeding the old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, FlexJobs suggests job seekers consider the following questions when reviewing potential opportunities:
- Does the job listing include the hiring company’s name and/or does the recruiter or job posting match the company’s information?
- Are there any upfront costs required to get the job? (including supplies, a minimum investment or training fees)
- Are there any typos on the site or in any correspondence?
- Are you being asked to provide personal information like a social security number, credit card number, bank information or driver’s license?
- Did they offer a job on the spot without conducting an interview?
If the answer is yes to any of the above, experts say that’s a red flag, and the “dream opportunity” might become a nightmare. Scammers can be very creative in convincing you a position or company is legitimate, so do your research. Check with sites like the BetterBusinessBureau.com, FTC.com, FlexJobs.com or scam.com to learn of the latest employment scams.
Here are FlexJobs’ 5 most common work-from-home scams.
Career advancement grant: This scam claims to come from the government, promising you a grant to pursue education or certification. Scammers ask for your account information with the promise that they will deposit the bogus grant money directly into your account.
Data entry scams: There are legitimate data entry jobs that allow you to work from home, but the scammers ask for money up front and/or promise wages that are much higher than normal.
Pyramid schemes: If the only way to make money is by others losing money or paying you as they recruit others, it’s probably a scam … and, pyramid schemes are also illegal, so you could be charged with a crime.
Online reshipping: Don’t ever repack items and forward them to customers outside the United States. What you’re doing is transporting stolen goods, and not only will you never get paid, you could be charged with a crime.
Rebate processor: This scam promises you a salary based on the number of clicks your ad receives. It charges a training fee up front for which you will never be reimbursed, and you’ll never receive that salary, either.