4 Signs a "work from home" job offer is actually a scam (2023)

    RD.COM Technology personal technology

    4 Signs a "work from home" job offer is actually a scam (1)meghan jonesUpdated: August 19, 2022

        In the new world of widespread remote work, you might be especially excited about a job posting or an ad that promises you can work from home. But you also have to be very careful.


        4 Signs a "work from home" job offer is actually a scam (2)edge/fake images

        Beware of scams

        Due to the corona pandemic, it is currently very common to work from home. Unfortunately, so is unemployment. It's something of a perfect storm for a type of scam that has been around for a while: fraudulent "work from home" job offers. If you get one of these "offers," here's a guide on how this scam works, how the current spread of work-from-home supports it, and how you can avoid becoming a victim. Also, be careful with theseComputer errors that you should stop making now.


        4 Signs a "work from home" job offer is actually a scam (3)Cosrork/Getty Images

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        ¿Fue sind „Trabajo desde casa“-Jobscams?

        They are pretty much what they sound like. They are scams that make it look like they are offering you a job that allows you to work completely from home, but there is no job and they are really just trying to steal your money.

        While some scammers are less than thorough with their fake offer, others may go to great lengths to make the offer appear legitimate. "They can create fake companies, but they can also fake real companies," explains Karim Hijazi, CEO ofsupremacy. “They can also steal the identities of real people, such as CEOs or recruiters, to fool their victims. You can post on legitimate job sites like CareerBuilder or contact the person directly via email, text, or social media sites like LinkedIn.” Just because an offer is on a legitimate job site does not mean that the offer itself is legitimate. If you're already working from home, be sure to continuethe golden rules for the WFH.


        4 Signs a "work from home" job offer is actually a scam (4)Getty Images (2), rd.com

        How is COVID-19 amplifying these scams?

        Again, the pandemic has created a perfect storm for these scams. Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of the current climate and the plight of people andCOVID-19 is no exception. "For the first time in our history, virtually every company that has the ability to do that is trying to figure out how to keep their employees at home," Hijazi explains. “There is a very high percentage of people who are actively looking for a job, any job, and many more are keeping their options open in case they are next on the chopping block. As a result, people who wouldn't normally open a WFH job posting email are more likely to do so now.”


        Sign: The job offer seems too good to be true

        According to Hijazi, that simple feeling could be the strongest indicator that something is wrong. "[The scammer] may offer a well-above-average price, promised down payment or large bonus, easy job, etc.," he says. If any of these things seem a little high to you, they probably are, so be sure to check out all the details of what's on offer.


        4 Signs a "work from home" job offer is actually a scam (6)Getty Images, rd.com

        Characters: There are spelling and grammatical errors

        Yes, anyone can make grammatical mistakes, but if the job description you're looking at has enough mistakes, or one big enough mistake, like a misspelling of the company name, it sounds like someoneYes reallyshould you get caught, the offer might be nothing more than a hastily written scam.

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        An unknown or too familiar email address.

        If the offer comes by email, take a good look at the email address. One red flag is that the address, or any web address included in the offer, ends with an international domain like ".ru." (This is the top-level domain for Russia.) Before clicking on a link, hover over it and view the domain. If you don't know, don't click the link. (And you should still avoid clicking links from unknown email senders!)

        Interestingly, that's an email addresswhat's moreFamiliarity can also be a red flag. For example, a recruiter for a particular company will typically use a work email address for that company, not a Gmail address, for example. While Gmail is certainly a trustworthy website and you would probably trust it, keep in mind that a legitimate recruiting email will most likely come from an email address belonging to the company in question.


        4 Signs a "work from home" job offer is actually a scam (8)Getty Images, rd.com

        You are encouraged to open attachments

        Attachments are a danger zone for any type of scam. They are often "trojans" that contain malware designed to steal your passwords, install a virus, or obtain your information and/or money. But just like fake email and web addresses, they can look convincing. "They may be disguised as a job description, application, or request for payment, but they actually contain malware," says Hijazi. If the sender is not someone you recognize or have not verified as legitimate, do not open the attachments. Be especially careful if the message specifically asks you to open an attachment or download something. Again, this is a good rule of thumb for any email, not just a job posting.


        Stay safe – do your research

        Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid becoming the victim (or victim) of a work-from-home scam.any online scam, by the way). When considering a job offer, whether through email or on a career site, the first thing to do is verify that the company has a website that seems legitimate and do a thorough search of the information on the website. “You can… look for themWHO IS ITInformation on the website to see how old it is,” recommends Hijazi. "A website that launched in the last few months raises more questions than one that has been around for years." She also suggests looking up the site on the site.Best commercial officeand even in a database of state companies. If the company isn't listed, or if it's viewed in a negative light, meaning people have complained about it, it's probably not legitimate.

        You should also look for the name of the person the email claims to be from – is this a real person and does he really work for this company? To be extra cautious, you can even call the company's human resources department to make sure they actually sent you the offer or actually have the position. Better safe than sorry!

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        4 Signs a "work from home" job offer is actually a scam (10)Getty Images, rd.com

        Stay Safe: Dig Deeper for the Real Email Sender

        There is a simple but little-known way to get a good idea of ​​whether an email is from a legitimate sender. You need to read the email header. By doing this alone, "you can immediately spot many scams that rely on email spoofing to impersonate legitimate businesses or organizations," says Hijazi. To do this, click "View original" (for Gmail) or "View source code"; This will reveal the full header. Find the line that says "return-path". Will show the "true place of origin" of the email, says: "Criminals can easily spoof a legitimate domain, so what you see in your inbox is"[Email protected]’ But the way back will always tell you the truth.” Once again, if the domain here is unknown, and especially in direct contrast to what you see in your inbox, the email is not legitimate. DiscoverScary things a hacker can do if they have your email address.


        Stay safe - keep your personal information private

        This is another problem in the current climate. Not only do we work much more online, but we alsoPurchase onlineand research anddonate to charitiesEn masse It's very easy to provide personal information with just a few clicks, but be careful. Hijazi's advice? "Do not provide sensitive personal information like your social security number, bank account number, credit card, etc. to someone you only deal with remotely."your social security numberwhat you should really only be asked for on a government form, anddefinitivelynot by phone. Before you share information like this online, make absolutely sure that the site is legitimate.

        (Video) 4 signs you may be in the wrong job (Stage 1 of Career Change)


        Stay safe: protect yourself from malware

        Threats of contracting a computer virus or being scammed are ever-present. Make sure your computer has strong antivirus software andDon't ignore "Virus" or "Update" alerts on your computer. Make sure your email spam filter is working. In fact, Hijazi recommends using a different device for banking than the one used for email whenever possible. Follow these for more tipsRules that make you less likely to be targeted by scammers.

        Originally Posted: July 03, 2020

        4 Signs a "work from home" job offer is actually a scam (13)

        meghan jones

        Meghan Jones is a word nerd writing for RD.com since 2017. You can find her author in articles on grammar, fun facts, the meaning of various head-scratching words and phrases, and more. Meghan graduated from Marist College in 2017 with a BA in English; Her creative nonfiction book Anticipation was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine.


        How do you check if a job offer is not a scam? ›

        When in doubt, call the company to confirm legitimacy using the contact information that they've provided on their website. If you receive an email about a job opportunity, always click on the sender's email address to confirm that it is actually associated with the company.

        How can you tell a fake job message? ›

        One must also check the language of the email. Usually, job emails are professionally written but if you find one that isn't, that could be a potential red flag. Sometimes, some fake job offers ask one to pay in return as well. Even such a case is an indicator of a fake job offer so take care.

        How do I find a work-from-home job isn scam? ›

        Look for Sites That Specialize in Work-From-Home Jobs

        Other websites to check out for legit work-from-home jobs include FlexJobs.com, PeoplePerHour.com, Jobspresso.co and ZipRecruiter.com. You may also want to check out the well-known career sites, Monster.com, Indeed.com and CareerBuilder.com.

        Do work from home jobs send you a check for equipment? ›

        No legit employer will send you a check, tell you to buy stuff with it, and then ask you to send money to cover the balance.

        Are there fake job postings on Indeed? ›

        Very similar to assistant jobs, receptionist and secretary jobs are also highly searched roles on Indeed. Scammers may use job descriptions that seem too good to be true or post legitimate looking opportunities, and once you've applied, they may reach out for more personal information.

        How do I know if my offer up is real? ›

        Any request for a verification code is a major red flag. Take it as confirmation that the seller is not trustworthy. OfferUp has its own verification process called TruYou that doesn't involve verification codes. Moving communications away from their secure messaging system is never recommended.

        What are some red flags in a job offer? ›

        IT Pros: If You See One of These 6 'Red Flags' After a Job Offer, Run for the Hills
        • A Lack of Consistency In the Hiring Process. ...
        • Missing Specifics In the Job Description. ...
        • Evidence of Poor Team Dynamics. ...
        • Poor Company Culture. ...
        • The Job Doesn't Offer Growth Potential.
        Jul 11, 2022

        How do you check if a job offer is valid? ›

        If you find a job posting that interests you or if a job offer arrives from out of the blue, search the company online and contact them directly to confirm that both the recruiter and the job listing are legitimate.

        What are the 5 signs of a fake job posting? ›

        Here are 11 telltale signs that a job posting is actually a job scam:
        • You never applied. ...
        • The pay is too good to be true. ...
        • Your research comes up empty. ...
        • Poorly written job post and correspondence. ...
        • Vague job description. ...
        • Suspicious URL. ...
        • The recruiter has a generic email. ...
        • Asking for an interview via messaging service.

        How do you check if a company is legitimate? ›

        Check out the company's address, phone number, and website to make sure they look legitimate. Be aware, though, that it's pretty easy for a company to get a fake address, phone number, and website. If you can, visit the company's physical address and talk to the people who work there.

        How can you tell if a job opening is a phantom job listing? ›

        How to spot it: If you find a job you like on Indeed or another job board, first check to see how long the posting has been up. The longer it's been on the job board, the more likely it is to be a phantom job posting. Also try to find the posting on the company's website.

        How do you verify work-from-home? ›

        Dear Sir/Madam, I'd like to request the ability to work from home for one day, [date], due to [personal reasons]/[illness]/[family problems]/[inability to come to the office]. I'm working on the [current task] and I assure you I can maintain my level of productivity while working from home.

        Is work at home program a scam? ›

        What are “work-from-home” job scams? They're pretty much what they sound like. They're scams that make it look like you're being offered a job where you'll be able to work entirely from home—but there is no job, and they're actually just trying to steal your money.

        How do employers know if you are working from home? ›

        GPS tracking can also be used to monitor employees who work from home. While this may not be as common, some employers who allow employees to work from home may use GPS tracking to make sure employees are working from their homes and not somewhere else.

        Is your employer spying on you as you work from home? ›

        As a general rule, if you're using your employer's equipment while on your employer's network, your employer has the right to monitor everything you do, whether you're working remotely or in the workplace. Because your employer is providing the communications technology, they have the right to track your activities.

        What does a remotely created check look like? ›

        They do not bear the signatures of the customers like ordinary checks. Instead, they bear a legend statement "Authorized by Drawer". This type of instrument is usually used by credit card companies, utility companies, or telemarketers.

        What happens if I deposit a fake check? ›

        In most cases, once a check is found to be fraudulent, the amount will be charged to your bank account. Worse, the bank may charge you an additional fee for processing a fake check. You'll lose any money you sent to the scammer.

        How can you tell if Indeed jobs are fake? ›

        Some of the most common red flags include:
        1. The employer is not listed on the job posting.
        2. The job listing asks for personal information upfront.
        3. The language in the job listing is too good to be true.
        4. You can't verify that the company exists.
        Jun 30, 2022

        What are fake job postings? ›

        A fake job posting is a (rarely) smartly designed type of scam aimed at job seekers for a variety of unprofessional reasons. Still, these scams can look legit to an unsuspicious person scrolling through the vast pool of jobs.

        Do employers actually contact you on Indeed? ›

        Your Indeed alias - We provide all job seekers with an Indeed auto-generated email address alias to help protect and secure your real email address information. All email communication from employers with your Indeed email alias is still sent directly to your email inbox.

        What can a scammer do with my phone number? ›

        Your phone number is an easy access point for scammers and identity thieves. Once they know your number, they can use it to send you phishing texts, trick you into installing malware and spyware, or use social engineering attacks to get you to hand over your personal identifying information (PII).

        Why does OfferUp need my Social Security number? ›

        Providing your taxpayer information. Periodically, Stripe will ask you to provide your Social Security Number (SSN) and your current address via the OfferUp app. Stripe is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to collect this data for tax reporting purposes. To learn more, see Form 1099-K and tax reporting.

        What color makes employers want to hire you? ›

        Blues convey feelings of calm, trust, and confidence - great qualities for an interviewer to sense in you. Darker blues (like navy) convey authority and confidence. Blue is also many people's favorite color, and wearing an interviewer's favorite color will always make a great first impression.

        What are genuine red flags? ›

        Red flags are often used in conversations around toxic or abusive relationships. Toxicity can present itself in any close relationship: friends, colleagues, family members, or partners. Red flags can be signs of narcissism, aggression, victimization, or even abusive behavior.

        What are green flags in a job? ›

        One job seeker told Buzzfeed that a major green flag is when the interviewer reveals something about themselves, such as their hobbies, and asks you about yours. “It shows they're interested in you as a person” and not just as a position that needs to be filled. Equally important is who's present during the interview.

        How can you tell a fake job offer by email? ›

        Job Scam Emails
        1. The email is unsolicited - you did not contact the company about the job. ...
        2. The email is from a Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook address. ...
        3. The email does not address you by name. ...
        4. They ask to continue the conversation with an alternative email, not your UH email. ...
        5. They ask to continue the conversation by text.

        Should you accept a job offer immediately? ›

        Don't feel pressured into replying to a job offer immediately. Aim to make your decision within 24-48 hours. Make sure you express enthusiasm for the role. Don't be afraid to ask the employer questions before accepting an offer.

        Can a job offer be fake? ›

        Unfortunately, not every job offer is as it seems. Fake job offers target job seekers for one of two reasons – either the employer is up to something suspicious, or a scammer is pretending to be an employer to gain something from a person anxious to begin working.

        How can people avoid being scammed? ›

        Protect yourself against scams
        • never give money, credit card details or online account details to anyone you don't know and trust.
        • keep your receipts.
        • check your bank account and credit card statements.
        • report any unexplained transactions to your bank.
        • keep your bank cards safe.
        • make sure nobody else knows your PIN number.
        Dec 11, 2020

        What are 5 strategies for preventing workplace harassment? ›

        5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Harassment
        • Leadership. According to the EEOC, employers should consistently demonstrate a commitment to creating and maintaining a workplace culture in which harassment is not tolerated. ...
        • Accountability. ...
        • Written Harassment Policies. ...
        • Harassment Complaint Systems. ...
        • Harassment Training Programs.

        What are some precautions we can take to avoid being scammed? ›

        Protect yourself
        • Be alert to the fact that scams exist. ...
        • Know who you're dealing with. ...
        • Do not open suspicious texts, pop-up windows or click on links or attachments in emails – delete them: If unsure, verify the identity of the contact through an independent source such as a phone book or online search.

        What are three things you should do to protect yourself from being scammed? ›

        Remember: Do not enter personal information, bank account or credit card details in suspicious or unverified websites. Always check the address bar or properties of a website to verify if it is legitimate. Sending of emails that are targeted attacks on specific individuals or companies.

        Who get scammed the most? ›

        The age group most vulnerable to scams is actually 18 to 24 years olds. Although those digital natives understand a lot about how technology works and can help you navigate the latest social media network, they also can fall prey to savvy scammers.

        What is the most common way to get scammed? ›

        Common Scams and Frauds
        • COVID-19 scams, rumors, and price gouging.
        • Banking Scams.
        • Telephone Scams.
        • Census-Related Fraud.
        • Government Grant Scams.
        • Investment Scams.
        • Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams.
        • Charity Scams.
        Dec 16, 2022

        What is the best way to expose a scammer? ›

        Report most common scams

        The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the main agency that collects scam reports. Report the scam to the FTC online, or by phone at 1-877-382-4357 (9:00 AM - 8:00 PM, ET). The FTC accepts complaints about most scams, including these popular ones: Phone calls.

        What is the number one most common form of workplace harassment? ›

        Sexual Harassment

        It is the most common type of workplace harassment. It is illegal and must be taken seriously. Examples of sexual harassment are sharing sexual photos or posters, inappropriate sexual touching or gestures, passing sexual comments, invading someone's personal space sexually, etc.

        What are the five D's of harassment? ›

        Hollaback's "5 D's" (Direct, Distract, Delay, Delegate, Document) are different methods that bystanders can use to support someone who is being harassed, emphasize that harassment is not okay, and demonstrate to people in your life that they too have the power to make our communities and workplaces safer.

        What are the two main types of workplace harassment? ›

        The two most common forms are described as quid pro quo sexual harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment:
        • Quid pro quo harassment. ...
        • Hostile work environment harassment.

        What information is needed to be scammed? ›

        Much like a Social Security number, a thief only needs your name and credit card number to go on a spending spree. Many merchants, particularly online, also ask for your credit card expiration date and security code.

        What if a scammer has my phone number? ›

        Your phone number is an easy access point for scammers and identity thieves. Once they know your number, they can use it to send you phishing texts, trick you into installing malware and spyware, or use social engineering attacks to get you to hand over your personal identifying information (PII).

        How can you tell a scammer number? ›

        How to Spot a Phone Scam
        1. A claim that you have been specially selected.
        2. Use of high-pressure sales tactics and “limited-time” offers.
        3. Reluctance to answer questions about the business or the offer.
        4. Request that you “confirm your personal information”

        What motivates a scammer? ›

        The motivation to commit a fraud is generally linked to an experience or feeling of being under pressure. At the moment of deciding to commit a crime, most fraudsters are facing financial difficulties or living extravagantly and beyond their means.

        What should you do as soon as you realize that you have been scammed? ›

        Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.

        What is the psychology of a scammer? ›

        Distraction: Scammers routinely distract their victims, making them more likely to fall for a scam. They may distract people with requests that don't involve money, so AP staff become more trusting. Once trust is established, they then proceed to deceive the victim into taking an action that involves money.


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