Looking for a Work-From-Home Job? Beware of Scams Using Big Company Names

9,597 Views
woman looking stressed out while working late
Peopleimages/Getty Images

Work-from-home jobs are the new 9-to-5.

In the same way that orange is the new black, or that audiobooks are the new reading or that zoodles are the new pasta. (That is, they sound like the next right move, but they all come with their own set of drawbacks.)

Not everyone looks good in orange, for example, and not being able to dog ear your favorite part of a book poses a real problem, obviously — but are there drawbacks to working from home?

Well yeah, there’s a pretty big one — and believe it or not, I’m not talking about how weird your friends think you are when you tell them, “Guys, I totally speak cat now” after a long work-week cooped up inside.

No indeed. The real issue people are facing as they pursue a from-home career?

Scams.

As the popularity of work-from-home jobs increases, so do the opportunities for work-from-home job-related scams — and (awful) people are taking full advantage of this new scam-prone corner of the market.

Last week, FlexJobs, a job service that helps users search for flexible and telecommuting work options, shared a blog post about an increasingly common scam which involves the use of FlexJobs’ name — a name that many seasoned job hunters have grown to trust.

The scammers are using several other sites’ names, as well, including those of ZipRecruiter, Indeed and Upwork.

The blog post from FlexJobs discusses some of the sneaky tricks scammers use to make these false job opportunities seem like the real deal, including:

  • Claiming they’re with a recognizable company such as FlexJobs or Indeed. This helps to create a false sense of security in their victims.
  • Using a vague email address that isn’t associated with the company they claim to represent. For example, “johndoe@gmail.com” probably isn’t in a position of power at a successful recruiting firm.
  • Asking for an interview via Skype or Facebook Messenger. Accounts on platforms like these are harder to trace, so scammers use them often.
  • Using poor grammar, spelling and punctuation or weird, stiff wording. A legitimate employer will strive to write clearly and professionally, so an abundance of typos, misspellings and sentence errors should be a red flag.
  • Asking for your bank or other financial information. Scammers will often claim that they need this information for some piece of equipment that they’re going to send you, like a laptop. (Spoiler alert: They will not send a laptop.)

If you need some more help spotting a work-from-home job scam, check out this post that will walk you through a scammer’s email — line by line — and show you what to watch out for.

Just remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.