Safety Tip: Remote Work Creates Fraud Risks
The pandemic has shown employers that a great deal of work can be accomplished from home. Many of us appreciate the convenience, even if we miss the social connection with colleagues. But be careful when you apply for work-at-home jobs.
The employment website Indeed.com offers seven telltale signs that a work-from-home job offer is phony:
1—The job sounds too good to be true.
When a job offer seems hard to believe, pay attention to your gut instinct. Are the salary and perks way above market rates? Do you truly qualify for this job? Congratulations if you do, but proceed with care.
2—You cannot find information on the company.
Employment scammers often use vague job descriptions to reel in more victims. In 2021, most legitimate companies have websites and a presence on social media. If the company is invisible online or the website is extremely vague, it may be crooked.
3—A second contact cannot confirm that the job is real.
Try to confirm independently that a company is authentic. You can attempt this by reaching out to an employee other than your initial online contact. If you succeed in reaching someone, ask questions. But remember that scammers may work together, so this tactic may not guarantee that a job offer can be trusted.
4—There are warnings online.
Use a search engine to check out the prospective employer. The results may show you that others have experienced a scam or have other concerns about the enterprise. Or maybe your search will provide evidence that the company is for real and you can rest easy.
5—The employer is overly eager to hire you.
Indeed says that if an employer is urgently trying to hire you, that it could be a “major warning sign” of a work-from-home scam. Legitimate employers do not typically pressure an applicant to accept a job. They are busy with other work and treat prospective employees with respect. An employer who is pressuring you to accept a job may very well be engaging in a fraud, and you should stop dealing with them.
6—You have to pay to work.
We’ve already mentioned the FTC’s warning about the fake check scam. Whatever the tactic, if an employer is trying to get you to invest money to get started, something sounds wrong. Scammers may ask you to pay fees for certification, training or supplies. If they do, watch out. Aren’t they supposed to be paying you?
7—The employer communicates poorly.
Established companies should be able to speak and write in a professional manner. If emails include obvious misspellings and other mistakes, this can be a red flag. When you receive an email from a potential employer, scrutinize its content and the email address in your effort to ensure it’s legitimate.