Work-from-home jobs are becoming more common — who doesn’t want to help out with the family finances while being there for your little ones while wearing yoga pants with a messy bun all day? That unfortunately also means that there are scams popping up all over the internet offering work-from-home jobs that might not be what they seem.
As with most things in life, if a work-from-home job sounds too good to be true, it probably is. These scammers are after your money or personal information (you don’t want to know what they’ll do with it!). This means if you want to find legitimate work-from-home jobs, you need to do your research.
Still, scammers are getting savvier with their ads and websites. Here are 4 signs that the next ad you see is a work-from-home job scam.
You saw an ad in Google Ads or within sponsored links
There are plenty of legitimate companies that advertise for jobs, especially if they really need workers. However, most work-from-home jobs that you find through paid online channels are rarely good ones and often they are not legitimate. That’s because scammers are using ads to target as many people as possible.
Think about it: why would it be that hard for a company to fill positions for work-from-home jobs through traditional hiring channels?
Ads you need to look out for are links that have “sponsored results” or “sponsored links” next to them. That being said, there are legitimate websites (like here!) where there could be links to work from home job opportunities. If you want to work from home, look for jobs on company careers pages, on mainstream jobs sites, and on websites catering to this type of employment,
Unclear contact information
Before applying for a work-from-home job, search for a contact or about page. Legitimate companies should display their contact information clearly — email address, phone number, and business address. Scammers tend to either have just an email address or contact form, so there’s really no way to tell what kind of company it is.
Real companies generally don’t hide their identity. Think about it this way, would you go on a date with someone you met online who refused to give you a name or phone number?
The ad reads like a sales page
Of course, when you’re applying for a job, the company is just as excited to have you apply as you are — it wants qualified applicants. That being said, scammers tend to use high-pressure tactics to get you to sign up right away.
If a website has language where it indicates there’s only a limited amount of spots, that you need to make a quick decision or “you deserve this amazing opportunity,” then it’s most likely a scam. In some cases the website uses emotional language — it could be ones where it shows the success others have had, often earning huge amounts of money within a short amount of time, or asking you to imagine what you’d do with all your wealth.
Why would a company need to resort to these tactics if it’s such a great opportunity?
Legitimate companies will clearly spell out what it is that you’ll be doing, where you submit your work, and how you’ll get paid. The website or ad should outline briefly exactly what it is you’re doing and then dive into the details. It should read like a job ad for any traditional job posting you’ll find on websites like Indeed.com.
Scammers will be fuzzy on the details. The ad will most likely lead with emotional and vague language as to what you’ll be doing. If it sounds like they’re hiding something, be suspicious.
Be careful out there
The sad fact is there are a lot of scammers who are after your personal information or money (if you have to pay to apply, steer clear) and will use work-from-home job ads to do so. You know you’re a savvy mama, so as long as you remain vigilant, you won’t fall prey to these scams. That way you can focus your efforts on legitimate jobs and earn money for your family.
Remember that there’s no magic answer to your employment needs. If a company makes promises in its ad that sound too good to be true, then they almost certainly are. Learn what your desired work-from-home field pays and know that any offer that dramatically exceeds that is likely a scam. Be skeptical and do your homework before handing over your personal data.
–By Sarah Li Cain