Every few months, we like to remind job seekers how to spot job search-related scams. Especially when searching for jobs that allow you to work at home or provide other forms of flexibility, job search scams abound. In the telecommuting and flexible schedule job arena, it’s estimated that 98% of job listings are scams. While the job listings on FlexJobs are all pre-screened and vetted before they are posted to ensure that they are legitimate and scam-free, we understand that you’re probably searching for jobs in a variety of places. No matter where you search, here are 4 tips to avoid job search scams:
1. Be careful of the keywords you use to search. “Work from home” is a phrase associated with lots of scams and pyramid schemes. Instead, try safer words like “remote work,” “telework,” and “telecommuting.”
2. Be aware of the warning signs of scam jobs: Jobs are almost certainly a scam if they promise easy money for easy work, if they require you to “invest” or pay a fee to get the job, or if they use all capitalized letters or lots of !!! and $$$ punctuation.
3. Know the most-used scams: Common work-from-home scams include repackaging products, survey taking, stuffing envelopes, and building crafts. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
4. Be cautious about unsolicited e-mails: E-mails from unknown sources that promise to find you work-from-home jobs should be ignored completely, and of course deleted.
If you think you’ve found a scam, ask yourself these questions to be sure:
- Is the hiring company’s name listed in the job listing?
- Do you need to pay to get the job?
- Does the job listing sound too good to be true?
- Does the company ask you to provide your social security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, or bank information?
- Does the job sound like any of the following common work at home scams? Unsolicited contact, wire transfer, stuffing envelopes, data entry, assembly work, multi-level marketing or pyramid scheme, shipping manager, rebate processor