The Coronavirus pandemic has certainly brought a lot of panic and disruption to our lives – and with that it has brought about new scams, and a lot of change – especially in the way we work. Since staying home has become the “new normal”, those that could work from home would, and many that couldn’t were left looking for new jobs. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a new opportunity for scammers to trick people out of money in the latest “work-from-home” scams.
Being able to identify a scam like this can be tricky, especially if you’ve just been laid off and are looking for a way to earn money in a safe way. Here we’ll take a dive into what this work from home scam is all about, how to look out for it, and some tips on how to avoid falling for it.
What Is The Latest Work From Home Scam?
The latest work from home scam is specifically targeting those that have recently lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic and are looking for a new opportunity to earn an income, from the safety of their own home. This type of scam is particularly hard to spot since the job postings are often found on reputable job listing websites.
The types of work from home job offerings this scam includes are things like:
- Data entry
- Envelope stuffing
- Filling out online surveys
- Processing billing forms
- Making homemade crafts
The common thread is that the scammer will then reach out to you asking for an “upfront fee” for things like work from home supplies, training programs, and certifications. Once you’ve paid the fee, you won’t hear from the scammer again. In even more severe cases, the scammer will ask you to recruit more people and say that you won’t receive payment until you do – turning it into a pyramid scheme.
How To Avoid A Work From Home Scam?
Luckily, real work from home jobs do exist – the trick is being able to spot what’s real and what’s not. Here are some tips to keep in mind while trawling the internet for work from home jobs.
Do Your Research
It’s always best to research any company that you’re applying for – whether it’s a work from home job or not. You can check that they have a legitimate website, search for them on LinkedIn and even reach out to some of their employees before deciding to send through your personal information.
Determine If It Sounds Too Good To Be True
If you are applying for a job listing that seems to be offering a high salary for work that requires very little to no skill – then it is likely a scam. Sadly, normal data entry jobs don’t pay too much so it is important not to have unrealistic expectations that could result in you losing money.
Never Send A Stranger Money
If your employer asks you to pay money for something upfront then it is likely a scam. You should never have to pay money to start a legitimate job, so it is best to never send anyone money that you don’t know, for any reason.
Be Cautious Of Paid Training Courses
Unfortunately, some legitimate jobs do require you to attend legitimate training programs or certifications, however, if you are just applying for a simple data entry job then you shouldn’t need one. Be sure to ask for information on the training course and determine it is legitimate before making any form of payment for it.
Get A Signed Contract
Ask for a signed, legal contract before doing any work for them. This will help solidify that it is a legitimate job where you will receive payment for your work.
Tips For Staying Ahead Of Online Scams
Being scammed is a terrible feeling, and unfortunately the world is full of bad people who want to take advantage of other people’s vulnerabilities. Here are just some of the ways you can stay ahead of the scammers:
- If you think someone is trying to scam you, report it immediately. Reach out to us, or file a complaint to the Internet Crime Complaint Centre, The Federal Trade Commission, or the Better Business Bureau.
- Stay vigilant and be careful not to share your personal information online, or to someone you don’t know.
- Don’t make payments to someone you don’t know, or via an insecure website.
Keep checking our anti-fraud blog for updates on the latest scam alerts.