How to Tell If a Work-From-Home Job Is a Scam
Know which jobs or programs to avoid by looking for this common red flag.
Work-at-home jobs are often an ideal way to pursue your career goals, earn an income, and achieve better work-life balance all from the comfort of your home. But while a work-from-home opportunity may sound like a dream gig, it won’t be if the job listing turns out to be a scam.
While the number of remote job opportunities are growing, there are also tons of online job postings that are just aiming to swindle applicants and many of these scams have one thing in common: they require fees or credit card information, according to WTOP News.
“Typically, the scammers ask you for money, rather than paying you money, and that’s usually the telltale sign that a work-from-home so-called opportunity is actually a work-from-home scam,” Elisabeth Leamy, host of the Easy Money podcast told WTOP News. Workers should be skeptical of any opportunity that asks for money or payment information; if it does, you should definitely do some more research into the company before committing to anything.
Right now, 22 percent of the American work force work from home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and that number is predicted to increase. “We’ve definitely seen remote working increasing over the last several years,” Brie Reynolds, the senior career specialist at Flexjobs told WomansDay.com. “From our own data, we’ve found that remote job listings increased 52 percent in the last two years.”
With more opportunities to come, there will likely be more fake listings, as well. Some common work-from-home job scams involve internet businesses, envelope stuffing, assembly work, rebate processing, medical billing, shoppers, and multilevel marketing, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
In order to avoid these schemes that seem like real jobs, you should ask the employer a series of questions about the position and payment. Inquire about the tasks involved, the type of payment (salary or commission), the timing of your first paycheck, the costs involved with your position, and claims made about earnings. You should also do an online search for the company and find reviews or complaints about the company (start by searching bbb.org). If you think you’ve been scammed by a work-from-home program, you can file an official complaint and report the organization to the Federal Trade Commission.