With the rise of online jobs and remote work (or telecommuting) in general, more people are getting interested in working anywhere they want.
This is great for the workers, the employers, and even the economy, as fewer cars on the road means less congested traffic.
However, with this increase in online jobs in general, there is also an increase in the amount of online jobs scams.
These scams normally try to offer you unrealistically high salaries for impractically low qualifications.
However, if you fall for these online jobs scams (and many do), you’ll lose your money, time, or both.
So let’s look at the best ways to spot and avoid online jobs scams.
#1 The company asks you for money upfront
One of the best and easiest ways to determine if the company is just a sham is if the company asks you to pay any money upfront.
No reputable or real recruitment agency or job placement company will ask you to provide any money upfront.
These authentic companies make money from the salary you earn in your first year of work, often between 15-25%. Therefore, if the online jobs company is asking you to pay anything, it’s probably a scam.
#2 The website is low quality (or doesn’t exist)
One very big way that you can tell whether a company is scamming is by having a look at their “official” website.
If the website is of disastrously low quality, with very thin content and no contact details, you should be careful.
It is even worse if there is no website at all, which means the scammers don’t even care enough to put up a fake site.
In those situations, it is best for you to walk away immediately and save your time and money.
#3 They use free email accounts for professional communication
If the recruiter is not using a professional email address, or uses one from another company entirely, that should raise a lot of red flags for you.
In fact, all real recruitment businesses (of any size) should and will have their own professional email addresses, such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, if they are using Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail or another free email account, you should be very skeptical.
#4 They don’t need interviews
Another big warning sign of online jobs scams is if the recruiter states that they will not need to have an interview with you at all.
For any recruitment agency, that is unusual. Reputable recruitment agencies want to make sure that you will be a great fit for their client. If they don’t even bother to talk with you, in-person, by phone or through Skype, they may not be concerned about their client at all.
They just want to get the money from you as quickly as possible.
#5 Really high salary
If you are offered a lot of money (or non-entry level money) for doing basic tasks at the new job, then you should tread very carefully.
Almost all online jobs offer what they call a “competitive salary,” which in actually is a nice way of saying “at or below market price.”
A very nice salary for new employees with basic or average skills is very strange, and is probably online jobs scam.
Best ways to avoid online jobs scams
These tips will help you to see the online job scams a mile away and prevent you from falling victim.