Life Hacks

Don't Get Scammed: Work-from-Home Scams You Should Avoid

July 27, 2021

The amount of people who work remotely at least once per week has grown by 400% since 2010, signaling a massive shift towards more work from home jobs. And, that number has only grown since March when millions of workers were forced to adapt to a work from home lifestyle due to lockdowns and closures.

Whether you’ve been working from home for years or are just getting used to this kind of working style, there are certain things that you should know about remote working. 

Sure, you’ll need to have some great productivity apps on hand to help you stay on task. But, the biggest thing to know about work from home jobs is how to avoid getting scammed when applying for remote jobs.

How to Avoid Getting Scammed with Work From Home Jobs

Don’t Trust Pyramid Schemes

You’ve probably got quite a few friends who make good money selling Avon or Arbonne products. And, while those multi-level marketing companies generally do pay remote workers a hefty commission for selling products to others, not all companies are the same. If you’re getting a commission to sell products, it’s likely legit. 

However, if all you’re doing is getting paid to recruit other people, it’s likely a scam. Make sure you research the business as well as the person trying to recruit you. And, know that if you’re interested in sales, there are plenty of other remote sales jobs available out there for you with businesses who will bring you on as a full-time employee.

Never Pay for a Job

Shouldn’t a company be paying you to work for them? Yes, that’s how it works, even with work from home jobs. Never pay for a job or pay to sign up for a website that’s offering you the opportunity to earn money while working from home. 

It is sometimes worth it to pay for a membership to access a professional job board or job listing sites such as FlexJobs or similar platforms. However, if the company offering you the position is asking you to pay money before evening signing a contract, it’s likely a scam. You should never have to pay for any sort of job position, remote or otherwise. 

Check to Make Sure a Company is Reputable

This goes for really any company you apply with, but it’s especially important if you’re looking to avoid work from home scams. Always check to make sure the company is reputable. How?

  • Look at the email they’re using to send you messages relating to the work from home job position. If it’s a personal email address or looks sketchy, definitely think twice.
  • Search for the company’s point of contact on LinkedIn. As a reputable company, the person in question should have a profile, or you should at least be able to find the company on LinkedIn.
  • Use the Better Business Bureau’s BBB Scam Tracker to see if the company is listed as previously scamming other remote workers.

Before accepting any job, whether it’s a remote internship or even a full-time work from home job, it’s important to always verify a company and its ratings. Look at Glassdoor and Indeed for previous employees’ reviews.

Remote Payment Processing is a No-No

Medical billing is a real profession, but if someone is offering you a too-good-to-be-true remote position that requires remote payment processing, it’s probably a scam. A lot of companies use stolen credit cards to process payments, and they’re often part of larger crime rings.

Not only is this a scam, but it could potentially land you in a bit of legal trouble. If they’re asking you to receive money in any way and then redirect it elsewhere, run far away, and fast. Then, report the company to the Better Business Bureau.

Always Receive Offers in Formal Writing

Not sure if a work from home job is a scam or not? Take a look at how they’re communicating with you during the interview process. If they’re sending you a text message to let you know you’ve got the job, or are sending emails from a personal email account, take a hard look at the position.

Check the job listing URL, the validity of the company, and then request a formal offering writing via email if at all possible. And, if you can, be sure you set up a video chat with the employer before accepting the position. No work from home job interviews should be conducted solely via email or over chat.