1) If “Work at Home” appears boldly in the headline of the ad, it is probably a scam. The main heading should have a specific job title. The fact the work may or may not be done from home should be a secondary consideration. The large-lettered “Work at Home” hook is frequently used by scammers looking for desperate and impulsive job searchers.
2) If the ad claims “No Experience Necessary” or “No Resume Required”, there is a good chance it is a scam. Real jobs require at least some experience or basic knowledge. By necessitating a resume the scammer would significantly diminish the number of responses to the ad.
3) If the offer requires “a processing fee” or a “one-time fee” it is most likely a scam. There are a few exceptions. Legitimate call center firms like LiveOps, Arise, and VIPdesk hire the agent as an independent contractor, who therefore buys his own equipment.
4) Promises of ridiculous and unrealistic financial earnings are an easy sign of a scam. If the work offered would be done at a normal place of work, it may be a minimum wage job. So how could the job seeker earn $4,000 a week?
5) Spamming equals scamming. Spamming is tempting for con artists because there is usually little or no cost. Some scammers send 68,000 emails per day. Consumer advocate’s tip: Just delete the email. Don’t click the “remove me from this list” link in many spamming emails. You’re just confirming your address as authentic, and the result will be even more spam.
6) Most scamming ads have no specific job description. They just promise great rewards and describe how easy and simple is this incredible home-based opportunity. The job seeker has no idea what they will actually be doing until they’ve given their email address and are sent an elaborate pitch.
7) You know it’s a scam if the ad features extravagant mansions, beach vacations, sports cars and women in bikinis. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Go with your instincts.
8) Work-from-home scammers frequently try to provoke a sense of urgency in their potential victims. Variations on “limited number of openings” and “limited time opportunity” are used. Some web sites even display a countdown clock!
9) Any company with a free email address like Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo is, as a rule, not to be trusted. Legitimate companies have their own email domain.
10) If a company asks for personal information in the “application” form, that’s a red flag. Many scammers will ask for credit card or Social Security numbers before the job seeker is supposedly “hired”.
What you can do:
1) To find out if other people have reported a scam from a specific company, go to Google or your favorite search engine and type the company name, followed by “+” and “scam”.
2) Check the company’s web site before responding to an offer. Some scammers will copy a legitimate company name and use their own email address to direct you to their scam. The real company may have a notice on their site warning of current use by scammers of their company name and logo.
3) Make use of the Better Business Bureau and their site bbb.org. If there are complaints the firm’s rating and details on the grievances will be listed. Note however that BBB membership is not mandatory and a company not being listed doesn’t imply bad business practices.
4) The internet is rich with reliable sites that provide a wealth of information and warnings of current scams. In this web site see: The 9 Most Popular Work At Home Scams.
Some of the most popular sites are:
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren, Work at Home Now: A No-Nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-Based Job, Avoiding Scams, and Making a Great Living, Career Press, 2010
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