By Lucy Wyndham –
With 58% of the U.S. workforce expected to be freelancing 10 years from now, according to a Flexjobs blog post, it’s easy to see why more and more people are interested in work-from-home jobs. Despite this positive trend, the sad truth is that cases of fake job scams are increasing by the day. Remote job listings in the last two years alone have increased by 52%, offering scammers an even bigger opportunity to scam unsuspecting job-seekers. With digitization driving the future of work over the next decade, the modern day consumer will need to be more cautious when searching and applying for remote work-from-home jobs. To spot fake work-from-home job offers, here’s what you need to look out for.
Fake job URLs
This work-from-home scam is as normal as you could imagine. You search for available job opportunities and find a listing from a well-known company. But are you visiting the official site or a fake URL? With over 1.4 million phishing websites being created, every month you need to be more cautious when visiting any job listing online. To be on the safe side, make sure to double-check the web address against one that you search online. For instance, back in 2002, scammers used CNBC’s reputation to scam people with a fake URL that seemed related: cnbs4newsworld.com. However, with a quick URL scam check online, anyone would have realized that CNBC doesn’t have such a URL. Look out for additions like “.net” or “inc” to the web name. Always compare job listings with the ones on the company website.
Job opportunities from companies you’ve never contacted yourself
This is also one of the most common work-from-home scamming routines. A company contacts you through Linkedin or other reputable job board offering you an enticing work-from-home position. More legit companies are recruiting online, so take your time doing some background checks to know which work-from-home companies are hiring or not. If you’re contacted out of the blue by a company you’ve never contacted personally, applied to or even had a previous interaction with, that should be a red flag. In most cases, scammers will give you a short deadline to deliver the work and offer a substantial increase in pay or a good pay-per-hour offer that makes it even harder for you to think critically about the job offer.
Conducting interviews via chat
When a potential employer asks to conduct the interview via chat – again, that’s another tip-off that stems from numerously reported scams. If a company purely contacts you through online chat, that could be a clear indication that it’s fraudulent. If a potential job offers states that they will communicate to you through chat, ask to talk by phone and go a step further to verify their web address as well as their contact information. Another clue is looking out for any grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors in the job offer. While there are lots of online working opportunities paying well, it’s always good to do your own research before accepting to work with any work-from-home company.
If you’re not sure about a company, do an online search and find reviews or complaints about the company. Learning how to spot fake work-from-home job offers can save you a great deal of stress and even money lost to scammers. By following these few pointers, you should have no trouble getting a legitimate work-from-home job.