Remote work scams are thriving, especially on the internet. It’s human nature to want the easy way out, I do it, you do it, everyone does it. So don’t beat yourself up for being naive.
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Internet scammers prey on people’s desperation, greed and hope simultaneously. The statistics on remote work scams are mind-boggling. According to a CBS Denver report,
For every one legitimate work-at-home job posted online, there are about 70 scams.
Seriously? 70-1 odds, you have much better chances in a Las Vegas casino.
The bottom line: If it sounds to good to be true, it very very very likely is, so use common sense. So how does this apply to You?
So how do can you avoid being scammed? Watch out for and pay attention to the warning signs.
1. Run away from any advertisement that asks for your hard-earned money.
Repeat, a legitimate job will almost never require you to pay them up front for any of the following:
- Registration fees.
- Training or training materials.
- Processing fees.
There may be some rare exceptions, but I wouldn’t take my chances.
In the same CBS Denver report, according to Alpine Access President and CEO Chris Carrington,
never pay a company for training, speak with someone — firms that want to scam you will never talk to you, and a legitimate home-based company will pay you every two weeks.
2. Before responding to an advertisement, Google the company’s name with the word “scam” after it.
There are definitely exceptions to this tip, unfortunately there are a lot of weirdo’s and crazy people in the world who take great joy in hating companies or past employers that they incorrectly perceive to have wronged them.
What you are looking for is volume and diversity in responses. It will become obvious quickly whether or not it is a scam. It’s like pornography, I don’t know how to define it, but I know it when I see it.
3. Use alternatives to “Work at Home” or “Work from Home” in your search.
Instead, search on terms like remote jobs, telework, or telecommute. These terms are less scam prone in searches. Also try to keep your search limited to legitimate remote job sites.
4. Don’t respond to unsolicited emails, especially those with a lot of punctuation like “!!!”.
Think about it, if you have ever hired someone or outsourced work, did you send out emails to random strangers? Of course not. Mark these emails as spam, and don’t even open them, many contain viruses or are part of phishing scams.
5. Use common sense.
This is obvious, but we all make dumb, emotionally driven decisions from time to time. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. There is no Santa Claus, there is no Easter Bunny, so why would you likewise expect a random stranger to email you an opportunity to make thousands of dollars per month from home?
Because they don’t.
What to do if you are scammed.
If you already have been or ever are caught in a scam, contact your local authorities immediately. It’s important to report the scammers so other people are spared the financial and emotional misery these scams can cause.
If you are in the United States, I also recommend contacting the FBI eScams and Warnings site and Federal Trade Commission Consumer Protection Branch.