It is great to be able to work from home but because you aren't protected by a HR department, lawyers or a manager you may be prone to more scams than even if you worked for a small company. According to a recent survey, 82% of job seekers are concerned about job scams. 13% of job seekers have encountered a job scam and 22% know of someone who’s been the victim of a scam. Luckily FlexJobs came up with a list of ones you should look out for.
1. Data Entry Scams
Data entry scams come in many forms, but the common theme is they promise a lot of money for a job that does not require much skill. Jobs in this category often require an upfront payment for processing or training and very rarely pay as well as advertised. There are legitimate data entry jobs out there, but they do not advertise extravagant wages and they do not require an initial outlay of funds. Actual job posting for a data entry scam: “Numerous companies are looking for workers to submit information into online forms and they will pay you nicely in return. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme but a legitimate way to earn money from home. For Full Details please read the attached .html file.”
2. Pyramid Marketing
Pyramid marketing is illegal and has no basis in real commerce. Typically, there is no product involved in a pyramid marketing scheme, just the exchange of money. Similar to chain letters, people invest in pyramid marketing because they believe they will benefit from investments made by people who follow them into the program. In order for someone to make money with a pyramid marketing scheme, someone else must lose funds.
Actual job posting for a pyramid marketing scam: “My name is Michael. I’ve made it my job to help people succeed online. I’m constantly on the lookout for the best ways and means to make your job simpler, and I pass the good stuff on to you. I have developed the eBay Cash Machine – it allows everyone to make a great income on eBay 99% automatically. It only takes a few minutes to set up and once that is done you will have your own eBay Businesses that literally run on auto-pilot! You just wait for the money to come in!”
3. Stuffing Envelopes Stuffing envelopes is a job scam that has been around for many years. Although variations exist, this scam typically involves signing up and paying a fee to “stuff envelopes from home.” Once enrolled, you receive a document explaining how to get others to buy the same envelope-stuffing opportunity you did. You earn a small commission when someone else falls for the scam and pays the nonrefundable fee.
Actual job posting for an envelope stuffing scam:“$550 to $3,000 weekly. Ten dollars for each circular you mail…Free postage…Free circulars…No newspaper ads…No magazine ads…No bulletin board ads! Paychecks mailed to you every week! Advance paycheck forms included in your package!”
4. Wire Transfers
Popular among thieves, wire transfer scams move money quickly from one account to another. These transactions are difficult to reverse making it nearly impossible to recover lost funds. Although sometimes the request for a money transfer may seem legitimate, it should always be thoroughly checked out. Scammers have been known to pose as company executives asking employees to fraudulently move money from one account to another.
Actual job posting for a wire transfer scam:“We are small new firm engaged in export of goods to overseas outside my country. We have won various small exports contract at one time or the other, recently we were (engaged) contracted to supply financial programs for market analyzing, management project software in USA which was successfully done. We do not have so much time to accept wire transfers and can’t accept cashiers checks and money orders as well. So we need your help to accept this payments in your country faster. If you are looking to make additional profit we will accept you as our representative in your country. You will keep 10% of each deal we conduct.”
5. Unsolicited Job Offers
Unsolicited job offers often come in the form of a job scam emails. These offers are not sought out by the job seeker and offer either immediate employment or the opportunity to interview for a great job. Some scammers will even pretend to be from a well-known company or job board (such as FlexJobs, ZipRecruiter, or Indeed) to convince a job seeker to interview. Be wary of any job with vague job requirements and descriptions, unprofessional emails, online interviews using a Yahoo IM account, and any emails that don’t include contact information or that are sent from a personal email account.
Actual job posting for an unsolicited job offer scam:
“Our Worldwide Corporation is looking for new employees on various vacancies. We are already for a long time in the market and now we employ employees to work from home. Our supreme desire now is to enlarge our business level to more countries, so we are advertising here in hope of cooperating with you all. We highly appreciate honest and creative employers. You do not need to invest any sum of money and we do not ask you to give us with your bank account requisites! We are engaged in totally officially authorized activity and working in our corporation you can reach career growth at a permanent job.”
6. Online Reshipping
Online reshipping is a very serious job search scam because those who fall for it unintentionally become criminals. Reshipping, also known as postal forwarding, are work-at-home jobs that involve repacking and forwarding stolen goods to customers outside the United States. Although promised a paycheck and reimbursement for shipping charges paid out of their own pocket, those who fall victim for this type of scam rarely receive any money. Actual job posting for an online reshipping scam:
“Honest workers needed for a package processing company located in NY, but any location in US are welcome! We have customers worldwide and started that position to suit they needs. We offer you 40$ for each processed package. The payment shall be made twice a month. The Company shall also bear all shipping expenses. Your salary is totaly depends on your ability to work fast and handy.”
7. Rebate Processor
Rebate processing jobs mislead job seekers by promising high income in exchange for processing rebates at home. A nonrefundable “training” fee is usually required to get started as a rebate processor. Instead of simply processing rebates, this job involves creating ads for various products and posting them on the Internet. A small commission is earned when someone buys the products, part of which is sent back to the buyer as a rebate.
Actual job posting for a rebate processor scam: “Make money simply by filling out online forms – Enter the data into the forms that we provide you, click submit, sit back and collect the money. You’ll earn $15 per rebate processed. Opportunities like this do not come by every day – act now!”
8. Assembling Crafts/Products
Work-at-home assembly jobs have been around a long time. Most companies offering these positions require you to pay an enrollment fee and purchase all supplies and materials from them as well. Companies are known to reject finished products regardless of how closely they match the sample finished product.
Actual job posting for a craft assembly scam: “The first thing that you’ll be receiving is a portfolio of all of our companies, their pay scales and the things you can assemble. That’s so you can pick out your job because there are about 85 different jobs for you to choose from and you are guaranteed any of those jobs. We do have a one-time, lifetime enrollment fee of only $38.95. Now, that enrollment fee is backed with a 90-day Satisfaction Guarantee. All we ask is that you participate in the program for 60 days.”
9. Career Advancement Grants
This scam is geared towards job seekers who may want or need to gain extra education or certifications for their career. You’ll typically receive an email asking you to apply online for a career advancement grant that supposedly comes from the government and can be direct deposited into your account if approved.
Actual job posting for a career advancement grant scam: “Hi, hope you are doing well. We were notified that you may be eligible for the new Career Advancement grant. If you have not taken advantage of this program, the deadline is approaching soon. $5,730 can be direct deposited into your account, should you qualify for the grant. Last week 71 members took advantage of this Career Advancement grant. This is a grant from the government and does not have to be paid back .”