What are “work from home” scams and how to avoid them?
Online job opportunities are constantly increasing due to the reduced costs and productivity benefits they offer to companies worldwide. While this is a good and comfortable way to make money, it can sometimes become risky due to the lack of identity verification. There are several ways to find remote, full time jobs; through job posting platforms, freelance platforms or companies’ websites. The later one, is the most secure one because you get the information directly from the company. Thus, double checking on the company’s website after finding a job on other platforms, could save you a lot of trouble.
How do scammers present themselves?
In most cases, the fake recruiters will post a job opening that pays a competitive market wage. This will be done either in job posting or freelancer platforms. After applying, you’ll be asked to send your CV to an HR email address. After “reviewing” your CV, they will notify you that you are perfect for the job and keen to hire you. In some cases, you’ll get an invitation for an interview. The interview will seem legitimate, but it might last longer than usual. This is done to make you believe the entire process is real and/or to tire you enough to be easier to trick you afterwards. During this process you will be asked to submit some ID or bank information which will supposedly be used to send your payments. The recruiter might ask you to send money to pay for equipment or training needed to get you started.
An important detail to note here is that in these cases you will apply for the job, get “hired” and invited to the on-boarding process, all within a span of a few days. In real life, it takes weeks to complete the recruitment process.
What to do to avoid scams?
When applying for a remote job position, you should always check the career section of the company website. A lack of remote jobs would be your first red flag. Do take some extra minutes and contact the company through their contact information and check if the job opening exists and if so, how to apply. Another step you should take, is to research the recruiters. Most recruiters share their projects, pictures and other information in platforms such as LinkedIn. Do not hesitate to ask the recruiters questions and explanation about the job. A non-scam recruiter would be happy to provide more details. If asked for money or identification, do ask for reasons for that request. Never send money to a prospective employer and don’t send your personal details unless you have a contract or a strong proof of legitimacy.
Finding a remote job can be more difficult than finding an onsite one. The chances are you will run across fake job postings, but you should not get discouraged by this. By taking few extra steps like the ones mentioned above, you will create a risk-free process and save time.