Work-from-home jobs are the in thing right now. Multiple companies want to hire workers to do their jobs from the comfort of their own home. Right now, a number of major companies have a ton of listings for seasonal help for the holidays. But with any good thing involving the internet, comes the negative—the possibility of a scam.
The latest scam targets those looking to work from home by using names you trust to lure you in. FlexJobs, a job service that helps people find flexible or telecommuting jobs, recently posted a blog about the newest scam, as it uses FlexJob’s name—a name job hunters have probably heard of, and likely trust.
How To Avoid This Scam
In the post, FlexJob advises users to not respond to any email from a “so-called” employer who does some or all of the following:
- They say they found you via a common site, like FlexJobs. By mentioning a trusted job site, it creates a sense of security, meaning you may be more likely to respond.
- The email address the “employer” uses is a generic email, like Gmail or Yahoo. If an email is coming from a legitimate company, it should be sent from an address such as, “firstname.lastname@example.org.” FlexJobs says to also keep in mind that sometimes the scammer makes up the company. While other times they will falsely say they are from a real company. So if you search for the company, it appears legitimate.
- They ask you to interview on Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Skype, etc. Most legitimate employers will use a phone call, a personalized recruiting platform, an internal video/phone conference system or something similar. Scammers like Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger because it is easy to set up fake accounts.
- Scammers often use poor grammar, spelling and punctuation. A large percentage of these scams come from outside of the U.S., so the English can often be unprofessional. Typically, any legitimate employer will be professional and have well-edited communications. So while typos or poor grammar obviously do happen, it shouldn’t be extensive.
- The “employer” asks you for bank or financial information for upfront payment. FlexJobs says this is the most important rule to be aware of, as it involves you losing money. This is often for “supplies” or a computer loaded with software they say you need. Any request for payment should always be an immediate red flag.
How to find safe work-from-home jobs
This scam also uses the name of other sites, including ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and Upwork, so be sure to look out for anything suspicious. You can follow these five steps on how to find real online jobs and avoid the scams!
Once you know how to avoid a scam, you can get a ton of benefits from having a remote job. You can save money on clothes and gas. Having control over your own schedule makes life a little more flexible. As long as you search for jobs properly, you can find a perfectly safe and successful at-home job.