Discerning real vs. scam work from home jobs

The advertisements for work at home opportunities are everywhere.  So are the reports of how many of them are scams. Retirementjobs.com  says several reports show that on average, only 1 in 100 work from home jobs are legitimate. There are real work from home job opportunities out there.  Here are some tips to find a real work from a home job that is a good fit for your skills or if you want to branch out into a whole new field!

5 main giveaway signs if a job potentially could be a scam or a real work from home job:

Scammer request your address and other personal information. Do not include your physical address on your resume.  If you submit it to a job post and they immediately ask then politely decline. Scammers from sites like Trovit and Craigslist are notorious for this. They only “need it for their records” when you accept a job and have to fill out tax and other employment paperwork.  You can furnish the information after you have an interview and accept the real work from home job.

Beware companies that contact you from a job board. If a company contacts you from a job board and wants more information like a CRN, bank info or asks what bank you use, this is most likely a scam.  Scammers do post on legitimate job boards like Seek  and Indeed.com - sometimes even using stolen credit cards to pay posting fees. 

Be proactive and contact the company itself. Contact the employer about the position.  If it is not legitimate they will appreciate knowing someone is working a scam under the guise of their name.  If it is a legitimate job you will get a chance to speak to an employee and have a foot in the door!

Do a Google search on the phone number.  If it is a legitimate but virtual company (i.e. all the employees work remotely) it may be a cell phone number and that may or may not be a red flag as a result, but still proceed with caution.  If the number turns up on a source that is showing complaints then it is most likely a scam.  If the only number the company has is an 800 number for you to call then it is most likely a scam.

Check the WHOIS registry.   This will tell you who owns the domain name of the company in question.  The domain should show legitimate contact information.  There should be a physical address, email and phone number. If any details are unavailable or the registration name comes up as private that is a red flag.  The company owner or owners should be on the homepage of the URL.  Go a step further and do a search on the company owners. Some type of information related to the business itself or recent past experience in the industry should come up.  New and small businesses do have remote opportunities that are real work from home jobs.

Other key factors to keep in mind when weighing the legitimacy of the opportunity:

  • An employer never asks for money to train you. Exceptions are home based franchises you invest in.  If you take the home based franchise route, do extensive research on the company especially if it is not a nationally recognized brand or business.
  • How does the senders email look? Does it come from the company name domain? Is the spelling of the company name one letter off or added? That is a red flag!  Internet email addresses don’t always mean the sender isn’t legitimate. If it is a small or new business they may be using Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail, but you should proceed with caution if any of these email addresses present themselves.
  • Does it sound too good to be true? If it were legitimate everyone would be doing it and it wouldn’t be that difficult for you to find this “special once in a lifetime opportunity”.

Yahoo.au  has some great ideas to find legitimate work from home jobs.

Remember if you have kids you still very likely will need daycare when working from home.