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Job Search Scams: Work-at-home rip-offs  

If that work-at-home job seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don't let an identity thief into your home.

If that work-at-home job seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t let an identity thief into your home.

A job search puts you at a higher risk of getting ripped off, scammed, suckered, or “phished” (“Phishing” is the term for official-looking, fraudulent emails that attempt to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and financial details.)

Jobseekers may face several common job scams. Work-from-home scams are one of the top rip-offs that target jobseekers.

More Americans are working from home — an estimated 30 million people work from a home office at least weekly, and many work satisfaction surveys reveal that workers prefer the flexibility of telecommuting to a higher salary. So it’s no wonder that work-from-home scams are proliferating.

Some work-at-home scams involve “pay-to-play” schemes. For example, you might be asked to send money in exchange for a special kit, supplies, or software that you can use to earn money working from home. Sometimes, the company will promise to reimburse you when you are hired, but the job offer never comes. Or the scammer might ask you to pay a subscription fee to access a web site or list of work-at-home opportunities.

Suspect the check

The most common scam you may have heard about is where you’re asked to deposit a legitimate-looking check and then wire money or buy products online. When the check bounces, your bank will require you to cover the full amount of the check plus bank service fees.

Other common work-at-home schemes target folks looking for extra holiday income, especially since many of these are advertised as part-time and work-at-home jobs. A lot of people want to make an extra $100 for buying presents at holiday time, so you’ll probably see more of those advertised around the holidays than you would at other times of the year. However, anytime a scammer can make money, they’re going to take advantage of it, holiday or not.

Most common rip-offs

The most common work-at-home scams are “envelope-stuffing” jobs, rebate processing, online survey-taking, medical billing, and assembly jobs (where you purchase supplies to assemble a craft or item, but when you submit the completed items for payment, they are rejected as “not being up to standards”).

Be particularly cautious if the “employer” requests payment for something in the form of a pre-paid debit card. It is very difficult to recover the money lost to a fraudulent transaction as there is often no paper trail.

Some work-at-home business opportunities promise a refund if you’re not satisfied; however, jobseekers that have attempted to obtain a refund are usually not successful.

Remember this: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Instead of pursuing too-good-to-be-true schemes, conduct a legitimate job search. Don’t know how? Contact me today to find out.


Image courtesy freedooom at freedigitalphotos.net.

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