It’s the fear of every person who plans to potentially telecommute: work-from-home job scams. Sadly, it’s estimated for every one real remote job, there are about 100 job scams. Thing is, job scammers are getting savvier by the second, whipping up very convincing job scams that prey on poor job seekers. Before you start your work-at-home job search, read up on these three convincing job scams to watch out for.
You can’t believe your good fortune! You’ve been contacted by a hiring manager from a Fortune 500 company for a job interview! Everything seems to be legit…except that your prospective boss’ email address (and the company’s website address) are a little, well, odd. The latest job scam trick is to take the URL of a well-known company and modify it slightly. For example, if the URL were google.com, a job scammer might turn it into google-biz.com. To make sure that you’re not being scammed, check the URL of the real company and compare it with the one from the person who contacted you. If they don’t match, it is probably a scammer.
Interviews Done Through IM
In today’s job market, virtually everything is done instantly—except job interviews! If you’re contacted via an instant messaging service, such as Yahoo! Messenger or Google, for a job interview, you should definitely proceed with caution. True hiring managers will contact you via email or phone, not through IM. So if you’re contacted for a job interview via IM, you should request that the person follow up with you via email or phone.
Being Contacted via LinkedIn
Of all the job-seeking sites, LinkedIn would seem to be one of the safest to use. That’s why it has become a big target for job hunters. Many job scammers are using the site to reach out to potential victims with too-good-to-be-true jobs—and want them to start immediately. You might actually work for a week or two, and then when you request payment, your “boss” disappears—along with all of your earnings.
While LinkedIn is an important part of your job search, you need to be aware of people who might offer you a job through the site. A reputable employer will still want you to go through an entire interview process before offering you a position; they will not ask you to leave your current job (if you’re already employed) immediately in order to work for them. So treat anyone who connects with you on LinkedIn for a job as you would any other potential boss, and do your due diligence before proceeding!
With everything else that a job seeker has to contend with when looking for remote work (such as redesigning your resume, writing a strong cover letter, getting your home office ready, updating your skills, etc.), it’s unfortunate that you have to also deal with potential job scammers, too. But by taking a little extra time to research the company (and person!) that contacted you, along with current salary ranges for the job you’re applying for, you might save yourself a lot of time, money, and, yes, heartache in the long run.