Yet another way that the scammers are coming at us is through “work from home” opportunities. They will call/email/text with promises of lucrative work, but end up taking advantage of hopeful people. Here are some details to help you identify these scams:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it is. For example, I see a lot of Amazon job scams abounding, where they promise $275/day, plus a company laptop and phone. But an entry-level Amazon job might pay $15/hr. How realistic is it that you would find such a job on Facebook that pays double what is normal?
- When they ask for money up-front from you, do not pay and back away. It doesn’t matter if they say it is for job training or other initial expenses that sound reasonable. No legitimate employer will make you pay before you work. Also be wary of giving out bank account info, even if it’s for “direct deposit”. That can always be setup later, after a job opportunity has proven itself.
- False urgency should set off an alarm bell in your mind. Legitimate employers will interview and hire you with a slow, boring, mundane process. Someone urging you to sign up NOW before the opportunity is GONE is probably pulling a fast one.
- Try to verify who is actually hiring for the job, and then investigate that company. Can you Google that company and learn more about it? Try doing a web search for the company’s name plus the word “complaint” or “scam”. While you’re searching, can you find the jobs they’re offering on other, big-name websites? If you can find the same job listing on Indeed.com or Monster.com, then that legitimizes those opportunities.
If you encounter a Work-at-Home scam, don’t communicate with the sender. Block their number, mark their emails as spam. If you see it posted on social media, it would be extra-helpful if you report the post and get it removed. And for extra-credit, you can always report any scam or fraud attempt to the FTC.