Scammers know that many people looking to work from home are eager to start new opportunities when it comes to family, finances, or both. When you are excited to start something new, it is always good to backup your decisions with research. The benefits of working from home are great and it is essential that you listen to your inner voice when searching for genuine, work-from-home jobs.
Whether you are unsure of what a work-at-home scam looks like or want to help spread the word about trustworthy, remote-and-flexible companies to work for, this post is for you. All work-at-home jobs are NOT scams. We’re here to help you spot which sources can be considered reputable and trustworthy. Here are four things to look for in legitimate companies that offer work-from-home jobs:
1. Payment through reputable sources
Legitimate work-at-home jobs pay in the same way as traditional employment arrangements. The money you earn is sent to you by direct deposit, check, or through online payment services like Payoneer.
If you are asked to do something odd like send a gift card, provide credit card information, or open an account somewhere else to receive wire transfers, stop the application or interview immediately. These are common signs of work-at-home scams.
Another sure sign of an illegitimate opportunity is the “I pay you. You pay me.” scam. In this scenario, a scammer sends you a check that is supposedly for equipment purchases or some other “necessary” expense for your new job. If someone online instructs you to cash a check, make a purchase, then send the remaining balance back to them, stop the conversation.
What happens is you cash a check and send the scammers money. Then your bank finds out it is a fraudulent check. YOU are responsible for the value of the check cashed. Your bank will take the money out of YOUR account. It will be YOUR responsibility to pay for the fraudulent check out of your own account.
Moral of the story: if someone online asks you to send them money, do not help them. In other words, red flag #1: weird work and payment arrangements.
2. Realistic earnings for your tasksMany people would tell you it’s their dream to get paid for a job that allows you to set your own schedule and work from a variety of places. That goes for working at home as well. The internet has been around since 1990. Trustworthy corporations have spent many years investing in real support systems for their applicants. You can expect a wage that is reasonable for your work. Moral of the story: Be comfortable with setting realistic expectations for your time. If you are an independent contractor, the work may be part-time and available depending on the day-to-day needs of your job. A legitimate work-from-home company should not require you to pay money to learn more about their positions. Be sure to expect specific details about any opportunities you find online. In other words, red flag #2: big bucks for little work
3. Communication through a company email or professional networkWe have seen a rise lately in messenger or chat-based interview requests. While it’s commonplace for companies to host an interview with prospects by phone, it’s a red flag when someone asks to interview you within a messenger service, non-professional social media platform, or another generic, chat-based system. These chat interviews typically end up in a high-pressure situation in which the person on the other end of the chat is trying to coerce you into opening a wire-transfer account or send them your banking information. Moral of the story: a legitimate company will never back you into a corner. In other words, red flag #3: chat-based and unprofessional interviews.
4. A professional website and good grammarIt’s always a good idea to take a closer look before submitting an application for a remote or flex job. When you research the company, ask yourself:
- Does the website look polished and professional or does it look like it was thrown up overnight by an amateur?
- Are there spelling and grammar errors within the job listing or on the website?
- Is there an email address available on the site? Does the URL match the website or is it a generic email address?
- Is there a physical address and phone number available on the site?