These are crazy times we are living in, especially right now with the outbreak of the coronavirus. Many have lost their jobs and looking for work from home during the quarantine. For some, this may be the perfect opportunity to pursue that dream job and breaking away from the typical grind. While there are many legitimate work-from-home- jobs out there, how can you tell them apart from the scams?
Today, slightly more than 50% of the global workforce spends at least half the week working remotely, according to a 2018 IWG report. Technology makes that possible.
Here’s how you can spot the red flags:
Never take an online job if you haven’t at least interviewed by phone or video conference; and if possible, do your interviews in person. Get the names of your interviewers so you can research the people you’ll be talking with to ensure they’re real. If they only use chat, text, or email, it’s probably a scam.
If you’re invited to an interview via in-person or video conference, ask the right kind of questions. Get the exact details of the position and their expectations of you. How does the company make its money? If the answers don’t make sense or don’t sit well with you, think again before advancing. A tactful way to phrase the money questions might be, “What are the company’s top revenue streams?” That way, you’re getting your answer while showing interest in the company. Find out where their headquarters is located to help you research better.
Ask “What type of training will I receive?” If it prompts a discussion about you, the candidate, paying for your own training, it’s most certainly a scam. Any job requiring a fee of any kind to be hired or to purchase supplies, even to pay for a uniform upfront or a background check, is definitely a red flag.
Legitimate work from home jobs have job descriptions that almost always include a detailed list of responsibilities and required experience to help you determine whether or not you’re qualified to apply. If the description makes it sound like getting the job will be quick and easy, it might be a scam.
You’ll want to research the company before applying. You can simply check out a company’s website or social media presence, and even contact the Better Business Bureau. Look at reviews and complaints made about the company. If they have none of these platforms, you may want to rethink your application. Be wary of only positive reviews, they could be fake.
It’s actually best to go to the actual company’s main website and look for the link to its employment or careers page. Some scams may mimic a real company (let’s say www.target.com) with URLs like www.target.jobs.com. When researching the company, you can also stick any URL or email address into Google in quotation marks and search. Articles warning against scams might pop up.
Identifying remote work scams can be tricky, especially since they often appear alongside legitimate opportunities on popular job-search websites.
In the last four years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 58,000 consumer complaints about bogus opportunities to work from home or launch a business. The median loss for victims is about $1,200, according to the Better Business Bureau’s BBB Scam Tracker.
As the old saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”