Work from home job scams don’t always jump out at you. Sometimes the signs are subtle, but they are there if you pay attention and know what to look for. Here are some of the most common red flags to help you identify scams.
Job Scams: How To Spot Them
Questionable or No Contact Information
Most legitimate companies provide a full physical address and telephone number. Though this is not always an indicator of legitimacy, if there is absolutely no contact information for a company that is supposedly offering jobs, be wary.
If a physical address is provided, still pay attention. I received an email offering the position of “email advertiser” with this interesting street address in New York – 4331 My Drive. Sometimes you just have to laugh! Though this address is obviously fake, when you are researching companies it’s a great idea to look up physical addresses if provided.
Even if you look up the address and all seems well, sometimes it’s best to dig a little deeper into your findings to be absolutely sure. I talk more about that here.
Lack of Job Details
There should be no misunderstanding about what you will be doing. If the job description is vague, it could be a scam.
Double the scam factor if the job description tells you how much money you’ll make for just a little time, but it omits the actual job responsibilities.
What Do They Do?
Job postings are sometimes very descriptive about the organization, what their function is, and the services they offer, but this won’t always be the case. A very small amount of research should tell you what any organization’s primary purpose is.
If it’s not clear what the company does, be concerned.
Companies do not advertise the same job posting daily. In most cases there is simply no need. There are more than enough qualified applicants that will find that posting and apply.
Most employers have more resume submissions than they could ever hope to review. A recruiter once told me that if she posts a job at 5pm, she’ll have resumes from over 500 applicants sitting in her inbox by 8am the next morning!
That’s activity for just ONE job, and in less than 24 hours! Imagine the type of volume recruiters see for several open positions.
If a company is advertising for the same job every other day, you have to wonder what the real purpose is.
Job scams are easy to spot If you are offered a job after a quick interview with no application or resume.
Legitimate companies are looking for a skilled workforce, and they want to know what you can offer to their organization. They will not waste time interviewing candidates without screening first.
Any company that interviews you without knowing your qualifications up front is usually only looking to fill seats and make money from unsuspecting applicants.
The exception to this is jobs in the extra cash category. Typically, you’ll be able to land those positions without much of a screening process from the company, and without much effort on your part.
High Pressure Tactics
Work from home job scams are notorious for putting pressure on you to make a decision. If you see “call now positions are filling fast” or “only a few spots left”, be suspicious.
Legitimate companies offering real jobs have nothing to gain by rushing you to act.
You Didn’t Apply
Receiving unsolicited job offers is a very scammy sign. If you did not apply to a position, but you are told that you passed the initial screening or you are offered a job based on a resume review only, it’s likely a scam, especially if it meets other criteria on this list.
Though you may have your resume posted to popular job boards for recruiters to review, be very careful about what you respond to.
It Doesn’t Make Sense
Job scams just don’t make sense most of the time.
Companies do not need to hire workfromhomers to be “envelope stuffers” – there are machines that do that. Legitimate organizations ship their own packages, so they will not hire you to be a “shipping manager” to re-ship their packages from your home.
Before you apply to any position, consider if it makes sense to hire home-based workers to do the job.
Lack of Professionalism
Remember those late night infomercials with the guys standing in front of their exotic cars, luxurious boats, and stately mansions screaming at you about their money-making system? Do you get the same vibe from your potential employer?
Websites with neon colors, obvious and numerous typos, flashing lights, and pages that won’t let you leave are likely the signs of job scams.
Also pay attention to your contact with company representatives. If their communication is unprofessional in any way, if they don’t honor scheduled appointments, or if they are hesitant about answering your questions, you may have a scam on your hands.
If anything causes you to question a company’s legitimacy, then…
Trust Your Gut
Your first impression is important so don’t dismiss it.
If you are really interested in a position, but you think the company might not be legitimate, do your due diligence to find information to either support or refute your initial feeling. Set out to prove yourself right or prove yourself wrong.
Scams take time, energy, and money so it’s understandable that some people are very concerned about them, and why some never try working from home again after being taken in by job scams.
But I do have to stress that you don’t fall into the trap of thinking everything is a scam. Caution is good, but combine caution with research. Don’t let it stop you from taking action.
When you do encounter them you can report scams and help other workfromhomers.