About the author

Darren Cronian, the author of this guide, has spent eight years securing remote jobs and building a successful freelancing business. His goal is to help people escape the office. Read more >

In recent years, there has been an explosion of remote jobs, and unfortunately, this has increased the number of work-from-home scams drastically.

In this mini-guide, we answer the question, how do I know what a work-from-home job scam is?

As job seekers become desperate to escape the office, these scammers are taking advantage. In this mini-guide, we answer the question, how do I know what a work-from-home job scam is?

How Do I Know What a Work from Home Job Scam is?
Look out for the signs

You should keep a lookout for a few signs when determining if you are looking at a potential scam.

Do they ask for a lot of personal information?

On the job posting, they ask for a lot of personal information that, let’s be honest, no company needs until they hire you.

Do not give your address, date of birth, passport details, or any confidential data they could use against you. Avoid giving out social security numbers (or National Insurance numbers if you’re in the UK).

Where possible, try and avoid giving out your telephone number, especially if they also have your email address. This can be used to gain access to your mobile phone and hack into your bank and other important accounts.

Avoid giving out confidential information because scammers will use this data against you in many ways.

Are you being asked to pay money?

This is the most significant sign that the work-from-home job post is a scam. Under no circumstances should you pay money to apply or get an interview for a job. In desperation, some job seekers will send money and sadly not receive any response after paying.

Most sites will review new listings, but many will not properly vet job listings that appear online. Only use reputable job sites, like the ones mentioned on our resources page.

It’s effortless to create a remote job board nowadays.

If you find what you feel is a scam post, ensure that other job seekers do not get scammed by reaching out to the remote job board to ensure they are aware. Do not pay money, buy gift cards, or any valuable item.

Is the job post poorly written?

If the job post has a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes, this should be a red flag of a potential work-from-home job scam. The same with inaccuracies in the role and expected skills and experiences.

One job post brought to my attention was for a customer support advisor, but the content was related to a front-end engineer.

Yes, lazy scammers.

Read through the post thoroughly and check for content that shows the person who has written it knows little about the role. Some of these scams are from supposed recruiters looking for people for jobs with big employers like Google, Amazon and Apple. Be aware.

The job sounds too good to be true

Recently, a series of tweets offering opportunities to newly graduated students earning $10K a month for attractive employers were doing their rounds. If the job sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Bear in mind that most job postings do not include a salary range, which in my opinion, is wrong. Still, scammers will use salary to entice people to reveal personal information or ask them to pay to apply.

Also, look for benefits they add to the job posting to attract people, like unlimited paid vacation and opportunities to travel the world.

Vital checks to go through before applying

There are several tasks you can do before applying for any work-from-home jobs to ensure that you are not scammed:

Search the company name

Use a search engine and search for the company name. Look for reviews and mentions of people being scammed. You could search for “ABC Company scam” or similar search terms to find references.

Also search on the company registration site in the country where they are based. So, in the UK, we have the company’s house website, where you can search a company name and ensure it’s registered.

You could also look on review sites like Google My Business, Trustpilot
and Capterra to see if there are any negative reviews or mentions of scams run by this company. These are reputable review sites that genuine companies use to capture customer experiences.

Look around the company website

Browse around the company website. Are there any red flags? Lousy spelling, no team photos, inaccurate information? Spend time browsing the site and looking for clues on whether this is a scam company.

Are there any links to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc.? If you find them check out the profiles and browse through the content. Any comments/replies being critical of the company?

Limit personal information on your resume

Job seekers include a lot of personal information on their resumes, and in my opinion, all companies need is your name and email address. I have seen resumes with dates of birth, addresses, and telephone numbers. This information is not required at the application stage of the process.

The company will ask for this information if they hire you, so be careful about how much private data you give out, especially if you are hosting your resume on platforms like LinkedIn. Protect your confidential data.

Go with your gut instinct

As a firm believer that your gut instinct is a natural reaction to decisions you make in life, the same goes for browsing a remote job post.

If you see many red flags and concerns when reading through, skip it and do not take any chances. It’s not worth being scammed as the effects can last a long time, especially when it comes to your personal data.

Hopefully, this mini-guide has answered your question: how do I know what a work-from-home job scam is? Subscribe to our free weekly email for more advice on securing your perfect remote job; we want to help.

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