Working from home sounds like a great way to make some extra cash. It means no commuting, and makes you more available to take care of your family’s needs during the day. While some work-from-home employment opportunities are legitimate, (I’m working from home right now, for instance!) job-seekers should be wary of offers that sound too good to be true, because they probably are! Taking the bait could result in financial losses, identity theft, and, perhaps worst of all, crushed hopes.
If you’re looking for work, there are a few things that potential employers might do that should make you suspicious. It might be a scam if:
- The job you’re applying for offers huge payments with no experience necessary, or large payments for very little time spent working
- The potential employer asks you to wire money to them for supplies, training materials, or other start-up costs
- The potential employer asks you for sensitive information related to your identity (social security number, etc) or your finances (bank account routing numbers, etc)
- The company’s website looks strange or does not function properly
- The job you’re applying for requires you to process emails, money orders or checks in a way that seems suspicious (some will send you a large check, asking that you take some of the money as payment and send the rest back to them – the check is counterfeit. By the time your bank notifies you of the fake check, you’re out money and responsible to your banking institution for the false check)
- The job does not require a face-to-face interview
- The person that contacts you about the position seems nervous, overly aggressive, gets confrontational when asked questions, or seems hesitant to answer questions
- You are approached to apply for a position that you did not seek out
Some of the most prevalent scams of this nature include the offer of a “secret shopper” position, mailing positions, and information or email processing jobs. If you suspect that a company or employment opportunity might be a scam, do some research about the company. It may be as easy as entering the name of the company into the Google search engine and finding them featured on Rip Off Report to determine that the company is trying to steal your money or identity. You can also call the Better Business Bureau or visit their website to check on the legitimacy of a company or to report a potential scam.