Unfortunately, as attempts to halt the spread of COVID-19 continue, an increasing number of individuals may find themselves out of work. Remote employment provides real career prospects in virtually every industry. However, it is also a high-risk location for scams.
Be cautious when searching, and become acquainted with the main professional sectors that usually allow employees to generate an income from home.
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How to Identify Job Hunting Scams
There are a few red flags that a job posting is most likely a ruse:
- The ad utilizes terms like “instant money,” “infinite earning possibilities,” and “free work-from-home employment” that seem too good to be true.
- A sense of urgency exists, or the recruiter is pressuring you to take the position right now. Any reputable employer will not press you to accept a job offer right away.
- There are clear grammatical and typographical mistakes in the job posting or communication.
- The position is given to you without a recruiter checking your work history or requesting references.
- The “business” has a Gmail or other popular provider’s email domain.
- The job description is uncharacteristically ambiguous.
Common Job Hunting Scams
« Data Entry Scams
Scams involving data input take various shapes, but the common thread is that they offer a lot of money for a job that requires little expertise. These jobs frequently demand an upfront cost for processing or training, and they rarely pay as claimed.
There are real data entry jobs out there, but they don’t pay a lot of money and don’t need a large upfront investment.
An example of a data entry Job Hunting Scam:
A lot of firms are searching for someone to fill out online forms for them, and they’ll pay you well for it. This is a genuine way to generate money from home, not a get-rich-quick gimmick. Please read the accompanying document for further information.
« Pyramid marketing Job Hunting Scam
Pyramid marketing is against the law and has no basis in reality. In most pyramid marketing schemes, there is no product involved, only the exchange of money.
People participate in pyramid marketing because they believe they will profit from the investments made by those who join the program after them, just like they do with chain letters. Someone has to lose money in a pyramid marketing plan for someone to earn money.
An example of a Pyramid marketing Job Hunting Scam:
Michael is my name. I’ve made it my mission to assist individuals in their internet endeavors. I’m always on the lookout for new methods to make your work easier, and I pass along the good information to you.
I created the eBay Cash Machine, which allows anyone to make a lot of money on eBay 99 percent of the time. It simply takes a few minutes to get started, and then you’ll have your own eBay businesses that run on auto-pilot! All you have to do now is wait for the money to come in!”
« Envelope Stuffing Job Hunting Scams
Stuffing envelopes is a job fraud that has existed for a long time. This scam generally includes signing up and paying a fee to “fill envelopes from home,” however there are variants.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get a paper with instructions on how to persuade people to sign up for the same envelope-stuffing opportunity you did. When someone else falls for the con and pays the nonrefundable charge, you get a tiny commission.
An example of a stuffing Job Hunting Scam:
“Weekly earnings range from $550 to $3,000.” You’ll be paid ten bucks for each circular you mail… Postage is free… Circulars for free… There are no advertisements in the publication… There are no advertisements in magazines…
There will be no advertisements on the bulletin board! Every week, you’ll receive a check in the mail! Payroll advance forms are included with your order
« Transfers by Wire Job Hunting Scams
Wire transfer scams are popular among thieves because they shift money rapidly from one account to another. These transactions are difficult to undo, making recovering lost cash virtually impossible.
Although a request for a money transfer may appear to be legal at times, it should always be properly investigated. Scammers have been known to masquerade as business leaders and request that workers transfer money from one account to another falsely.
An example of a wire transfer Job Hunting Scam:
“We are a tiny, new company that specializes in exporting items to countries outside of my own. We have secured a number of modest export contracts over the years; most recently, we were (engaged) to offer financing programs for market analyzing, management project software in the United States, which we completed successfully.
We don’t have enough time to handle wire transfers, and we also can’t accept cashiers’ checks or money orders. As a result, we need your assistance to make these payments in your nation more quickly.
If you’re seeking a way to supplement your income, we’ll welcome you as a representative in your nation. You’ll get a ten percent cut of every sale we do.”
« Job Offers That Haven’t Been Requested Job Hunting Scams
Unsolicited employment offers are frequently sent by email in the form of a job scam. The job seeker does not seek these offers, which promise either instant employment or the chance to interview for a wonderful position.
To persuade a job seeker to interview, some fraudsters would claim to be from a well-known firm or job portal (such as FlexJobs, ZipRecruiter, or Indeed). These offers might also arrive via social media (like Facebook or Instagram).
Scams involving job searches and recruiting are not uncommon on LinkedIn. It’s conceivable that you’re being contacted by a real recruiter regarding a legitimate job. It’s also a possibility that it’s a ruse.
Scammers will utilize LinkedIn to contact their targets, knowing that if the message comes through LinkedIn, you’re more likely to fall for the hoax. Any unsolicited employment offer, no matter where it comes from, should be seen as a job fraud.
An example of a job offer that was not solicited:
“Our Global Corporation is seeking for new workers to fill a variety of positions. We have been in the market for a long time and now employ people who work from home. Our top priority right now is to expand our business to additional nations, therefore we’re placing an ad here in the hopes of working with you all.
Employers who are honest and innovative are highly valued by us. You do not need to invest any money, and we do not require that you provide us with your bank account information! We are engaged in completely legal activity, and working for our company allows you to further your career in a permanent position.”
« Online Re-Shipping Job Hunting Scams
Because individuals who fall for it unwittingly become criminals, online re-shipping is a highly severe job search fraud. Work-at-home re-shipping jobs, often known as postal forwarding, entail repacking and sending stolen items to consumers outside the United States.
Despite being promised payment and refund for shipping costs incurred out of pocket, victims of this sort of scam seldom get any money.
An example of an online re-shipping Job Hunting Scam:
Honest employees are sought for a package processing firm in New York, but applicants from anywhere in the United States are welcome! We have clients all around the world, therefore we created that job to meet their demands.
We are willing to pay you $40 for each shipment that has been handled. The payment is due every two months. The Company is also responsible for any shipping costs. Your pay is entirely dependent on your ability to perform quickly and efficiently.”
« Processor of Rebates Job Hunting Scams
Rebate processing jobs deceive job seekers by offering high pay in return for processing refunds from the comfort of their own homes. To get started as a rebate processor, you’ll generally have to pay a nonrefundable “training” fee.
This profession includes producing advertising for various items and putting them on the Internet, rather than merely processing refunds. When someone buys the items, a little commission is generated, with a portion of it being returned to the customer as a refund.
An example of a rebate processor Job Hunting Scam:
“Easily earn money by completing online forms ” Fill out the information on the forms we offer, submit them, and then sit back and wait for the money. You’ll get $15 for each rebate you process. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — don’t miss it!
« Putting Crafts/Products Together Job Hunting Scams
Work-at-home assembly tasks have long been popular. The majority of firms that provide these jobs ask you to pay an enrollment fee as well as acquire all equipment and materials from them.
Companies have a history of rejecting final goods, regardless of how closely they resemble the sample. Alternatively, you may purchase a list of firms that are interested in your assembly services. However, after you pay for the list, you rarely discover the job you expected.
An example of a craft assembly Job Hunting Scam:
“The first thing you’ll get is a portfolio of all of our businesses, their pay ranges, and the items you may put together.
That is so you may choose your employment from the approximately 85 options available to you, and you are guaranteed any of them.
We do have a one-time registration charge of $38.95 that covers you for the rest of your life. The registration fee is now covered by a 90-day money-back guarantee. We just ask that you commit to the program for 60 days.”
« Grants for Professional Development Job Hunting Scams
This con is aimed towards job searchers who desire or need to obtain further education or certifications in order to advance in their careers. Y
ou’ll usually get an email inviting you to apply online for a government-sponsored career advancement award that can be instantly paid into your account if accepted.
An example of a career advancement award Job Hunting Scam:
“Hello, I hope all is fine with you. You may be qualified for the new Career Advancement award, according to our information. The deadline for this program is rapidly approaching if you have not yet taken advantage of it.
If you qualify for the award, $5,730 will be transferred directly into your account. This Career Advancement award was used by 71 members last week. “This is a government gift that does not have to be repaid.”
« Using False URLs Job Hunting Scams
You stumble across an internet job posting for a reputable firm that offers work-from-home opportunities. Is it possible that it’s too wonderful to be true? Is the business actually what it promises to be?
Scammers will attempt to replicate a real company’s website by changing the web address slightly. You might not know you’re on a fake website if you don’t check attentively. An actual corporate website, for example, may have the domain name companyname.com.
The address of the phony website, on the other hand, is company-name.com. It’s a little different, but it might mean you’re not on the company’s official website.
« Gaining Access to Personal Financial Information Job Hunting Scams
This is possibly the oldest and most well-known swindle in history. This approach is still used by even the most tech-savvy job fraudsters because it works.
True, you must provide your social security number to your employer before beginning work. Because most firms pay their employees by direct deposit, you’ll have to submit your account information as well.
However, if a firm asks for this information too soon (for example, on a job application, or before they can give you the position), the job is most likely a fraud.
« Using Chat to Communicate Job Hunting Scams
Scammers connect with job seekers using instant messaging platforms and conduct phony job interviews. Although handy, securing a job or conducting a job interview with a genuine firm over a chat platform is unusual. If you’re approached through chat, make sure you ask for a phone call and conduct your homework before interviewing to see if the findings raise any red flags.
« Lack of verifiable data Job Hunting Scams
You could have believed you’d discovered your perfect employment, but a closer look reveals little information on the firm. You’re dealing with fraud if you can’t verify a phone number, location, web address, or workers.
Real businesses, in this day and age, will have an online presence and participate in social media; if they don’t have a sizable following, they may not be genuine.
« Phishing Job Hunting Scams
There’s a phishing scam for everything: emails, texts, phone calls, even instant messaging. Someone is attempting to gather your sensitive information for a harmful purpose if a job requires you to click on a specific website or asks for extensive personal and financial details.
Phishing scams frequently appear to originate from a reputable and well-known firm, so instead of responding to any “phish-y” appearing message, contact an employer directly through their official website.
« Inviting or Mentioning in a Google Doc Job Hunting Scams
Inviting you or referencing you in a Google Doc that you would not typically use is a less well-known trick. The name may or may not be someone you recognize, and the document’s title may appear to be genuine.
Pay special attention to the email address used to deliver the document, as well as any links that may be included. Typically, these scammers would give you a link to “start earning now.”
How To Protect Yourself From Job Hunting Scams Amid Covid-19 Pandemic
While anybody may become a victim of a job scam, there are a few things you can do to keep yourself secure while looking for work online:
Do your research: Investigate the firm and the individuals that contact you. What are the results of a search for a company name + scam?
Make contact with the firm: Check the company’s website to check whether the job is listed on their jobs page.
Trust your instincts: If it feels like a fraud, it most likely is.
Scammers have long preyed on work-at-home opportunities. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, they’ve suddenly become even more dangerous targets. Unfortunately, the coronavirus epidemic has resulted in many individuals losing their employment.
Finding a new job can be tough, especially because many non-essential firms in the United States have had to cut hours and reduce employees.
Scammers are acutely aware of the fact that some job searchers are starving for cash, and they will take advantage of this when recruiting new professionals who aren’t used to seeking work-from-home opportunities.
The best approach to safeguard yourself in your hunt for a remote job is to know how to tell the difference between legal and hazardous employment possibilities.
While employment scams may occur in any industry, we’ve compiled a list of the most typical job search scams to watch out for.