Stay on Alert: How to Spot Work at Home Scams

The desire to work from home is nothing new. In fact, more people than ever are ditching the daily commute and office attire in favor of their own comfy couch and a pair of sweats.

And with almost 4 million Americans working from home, there must be plenty of telecommuting jobs on the market to satisfy the demand, right?

Well, although millions of people are making it work, there are many more who have been on the lookout for the perfect work-from-home job but have had trouble finding it. For as many legitimate opportunities as there are, there are probably twice as many work-at-home scams.

So how can you spot these work at home scams and avoid them altogether so you can better focus your time and energy on seeking out real opportunities? Read on to find out:

work from home scams

Work At Home Scams Often Have Unreliable Contact Information

If a company is legitimate, it will have easy-to-find contact information listed somewhere on their homepage, usually at the bottom under a “Contact Us” or “About Us” tab. There you will find a phone number and a physical address listed.

If the listing is a scam, it’s pretty likely that the only contact information you’ll find is an email address. An extra clue that the opportunity isn’t legitimate is if the email address listed is one from a free account such as “Yahoo”, “Gmail” or “Hotmail”.

Sending an email to a free email account about a job listing means you don’t really know who will be reading and responding. Real businesses have their own domain. But be aware that having a domain isn’t a guarantee that the company is legitimate either.

Did You Find the Job in a Sponsered Ad?

Hate to break it to you, but if you’re considering applying for a job you found as part of a sponsored ad, there’s a good chance it’s among the work at home scams. Sponsored links declaring the perfect “work from home” job can pop up in legitimate search engines or on Google Ads, but this doesn’t mean the ad itself is promoting something legitimate.

Trustworthy employers that are looking for solid workers rarely, if ever, rely on paid advertisements to find the people that they need. More often than not they take a more targeted approach toward finding the right candidates that fit the job description instead of using an ad that will reach thousands of people.

Is the Job Description Lacking Details?

You may be drawn in by the promise of working your own hours in your pajamas from the comfort of your own home, but if the job description is heavy on the promises and lacking in details about the job; beware.

When looking for telecommuting positions, you should notice what the posting says about the job. Real telecommuting job listings will start with a description of the position and the requirements of the job. Near the end of the job description, you might notice a mention that telecommuting is “ok”.

Take the time to read over any telecommuting job descriptions carefully. If it isn’t clear what you’d be expected to do or how you would be paid, there’s probably a reason for it.

Be on the lookout for any disclaimers. There are lots of “work from home jobs” that end up refusing to pay if the work that has been submitted is deemed unacceptable because of some small error. These scams might put something in the description about how “unacceptable” work is rejected and unpaid, but they won’t give a clear definition of what “unacceptable” work means.

Be Wary of Big Claims

As you search for jobs that allow you to work from home, you’ll notice that some website will boast about their mentions in certain well-known publications such as “The New York Times”, but without any links. Why wouldn’t they want to link toward a nod to their company in a well-respected publication?

Without the proof, you can assume the mention was either unfavorable or didn’t actually happen. The hope is that by associating themselves with well-known, trusted brands, they’ll appear trustworthy by association.

Take boasting with a grain of salt if you come across it on a website that is promoting telecommuting positions. Companies with legitimate work-from-home jobs usually don’t have to boast to get people interested as they will already have plenty of interest from quality candidates without the need to brag.

The Use of An Emotionally Charged Sales Pitch

Come across a job posting that keeps repeating how much, “you deserve this!” or encourages you by promising that by joining their team you’ll, “enjoy freedom and be able to live the life you always wanted”?

Does the company promote themselves by showcasing a lot of success stories coupled with pictures of people with their new cars, boats, or homes?

Be suspicious of companies that seem to try too hard to convince you by using unlikely rags-to-riches promises.

Feeling the Pressure?

Have you ever come across a posting with headlines like “Only the next 17 people will be considered!” or, “Taking applicants today only” as part of the text?

These high-pressure methods are meant to push you toward making a quick decision, and it’s a common tactic with work at home scams.

Use Common Sense

If the opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is. Ask yourself why the company seems so eager to pay you so much for so little work. Or why do most of their efforts seems focused on convincing you that they are “legitimate”? Go with your gut and trust your instinct if something about an opportunity seems off.

Be Aware of Your Own Emotions

If you’ve been looking for a solid job for awhile, there’s a chance you’re feeling some desperation creeping in. When you’re eager to find something, emotions are high.

In this state of mind, you might be more vulnerable because you want so much for the job to work out. Do what you can to keep a level head and your emotions in check. Be wary of jobs that tell you how much “you deserve this”.

Do Your Research

Keep a healthy dose of skepticism about you during your job search. Remain doubtful until you can do some research about the company. Find out where the company is physically based, find contact information and then give them a call.

Seek the company out on social media to research their content and their comments and look for any reviews from current or past employees. You might come across reviews that help you confirm that the company is, in fact, a scam. Or you may be relieved to discover that the opportunity is legitimate and many people have enjoyed working there.

It’s also helpful to conduct a Google search of the company name while including the word “scam” to see what you can find.

Avoid Opportunities That Require Payment

Real employers don’t charge their employees to work for them. If you come across an opportunity that asks for money up front to be part of their team, chances are you’ve found a scam.

Their pitch might seem convincing as they tell you that new businesses have start-up costs, but legitimate businesses will take care of those costs themselves and simply pay you for the work you do.

Consider Who You’ve Spoken With

While face-to-face interactions are always best when it comes to interviewing, this is not always possible with telecommuting jobs.

Did you have an over-the-phone interview with the “employer” that only lasted a couple of minutes? How much time did they spend asking you about your experience and your skills?

If they jumped right into talking about how great the opportunity is but didn’t seem very concerned with whether or not you’d be a good fit for the position, be wary.

Find a Real Opportunity

Hopefully, this article will help you as you attempt to weed out the work at home scams and better find real opportunities.

But you don’t have to continue the search alone without help! Learn some helpful tips about finding a great job and managing your money better in the meantime so you can strive toward the lifestyle you hope to have.

Let me help you with your goals to make more money and enjoy life along the way. Contact me to learn more about my services and be sure to browse the library for other helpful articles about finding work and making money.