You’ve just started looking for a remote job, joined a bunch of Facebook groups about remote work, and have started searching big remote job boards for that special position you’ve been dreaming of. You get hit with sketchy advertisements on Google, you see countless FB posts getting reported in groups for being scams, and you just don’t know who to trust!
Maybe even some of you reading this have fallen victim to a remote job scam recently? If so, please leave a comment after reading this in its entirety. We’d love to hear from you!
What can you do to protect yourself from online scammers in 2019?
In this blog post I’ll be breaking down the 5 common red flags, resources you can trust, and strategies to determine which opportunities are right for you!
Know the common RED FLAGS of scams that are disguised as online jobs.
Every time that someone asks me to assess a possible job scam situation, I look for these red flags. They are fairly easy to remember and you’ll pick them up right away next time you see them!
Please note that scammers are always evolving, so these are my 5 most common red flags as of 2019.
1. Solicitation to Interview Without Application
They’ve reached out to you for an interview without needing an application. This will look and sound very different from a recruiter asking for a phone screening. This will be an email asking you to get on the phone or video interview to discuss an opportunity with ______ company. There’s no way they would know your email address unless it was bought off of some list (they don’t have you as a contact on LinkedIn or anything else). Usually this request sounds rushed, there are little to no requirements, and you feel like you’ve done nothing to warrant this email.
While we’re on the topic of rushing… this is one of the most detectable red flags on this list. You know when they sound rushed, they are trying to get you to make a decision in as few interactions as possible, and they don’t want you to say that you’ll take time to think about it. If you feel pressured or feel some desperation from their end, you know it’s not an actual job; it’s a scam.
3. Bad English/Spelling Mistakes
This one is sort of self explanatory but I’ll go into a bit of detail. If the email, job listing, or contract has multiple grammar and spelling errors or sounds like the word choices are not native English, run the other way!
4. Google Hangouts Interview
People are so shocked when I tell them this! Most scams will ask for a Google Hangout Interview. That’s because they only need your email address (which they already obtained for their scam) and it’s a free platform. It sounds innocent because real remote companies DO use Google Hangouts for communication, but if you’re already thinking that this job sounds too good to be true or off in other ways, the Google Hangout is your signal to get out now.
5. Money Deposits or Money Requests
I wish this didn’t need to be listed because it is incredibly obvious. But people still fall into this trap! Please do not agree to have money deposited into your account. They will say that it is for purchasing the necessary software for you to start this job, but it’s NOT. It’s a scam. Additionally, if they ask you to pay money at any time in the hiring process, do not do it. Real remote jobs do not require you to pay anything.
Unfortunately, these scams can be sent to you through all types of channels. You could read these on job boards that are usually trustworthy, you could get these solicitations through remote candidate profile sites, you could be contacted or view a scam listing on LinkedIn, and really… they could be anywhere!
Even I got tricked once. No one is invincible, so don’t feel ashamed if you’ve been fooled one time. Just don’t let it happen again. Get smarter. Start searching with resources that you can trust 100% of the time.
What Resources Can I Trust?
Most popular remote job boards are trustworthy because they have so many users that if a scam is detected, it will get reported immediately. However, there have been serious lapses of judgement at major job boards like WeWorkRemotely and several others that I usually recommend using for your job search. Like I said, no one is invincible.
So what can you do? Trust expert-vetted opportunities like the Power To Fly approved selections on their massive remote job board, the vetted section of the Remotely Possible newsletter, and my Weekly Roundup that you can get by becoming a member!
With my Weekly Roundup, you don’t need to worry about researching the risk factor in these remote opportunities. All of them are hand selected, curated, and looked through by ME. I’ve been a Remote Career Coach for more than 2 years now. I know what to check for. I only list the best of the best available for hire that week. No low level or unstable commission based jobs that promise an incredible future with zero qualifications necessary. Yeah… right – that sounds normal.
My roundup has over 40 serious (mostly worldwide) remote job listings from my private network of peers and remote connections, my own searching, and cool new remote companies that are popping up on my radar. It’s the reason why so many of my members succeed so quickly!
Thinking of joining? Fabulous! Click below or keep reading.
Encouragement from other women who are in the process of starting their remote careers, private group training, resume and cover letter makeovers, plus much more! Usually, members get remote jobs within 3 months and then spread their wings to fly on their own.
Get the weekly roundup everyweek on Mondays and gain instant access the entire members area with video trainings on topics like searching, applying, and interviewing.
Remember, we are only open now thru Jan 13th for remote work candidates who want to land a position before the month of April. Is that you? Choose your membership today!
I have two more big things to warn you about remote job scams. I’ll break them down in my free Facebook Live training happening Jan 10th at 5pm Central/6pm Eastern. RSVP to watch live or catch the replay here.
Spoiler Alert: I’m covering what to do if a job opportunity begins ‘normal” but then starts to get weird AND how to deal with listings that are not 100% transparent about being commission based/direct sales/MLM/affiliate marketing positions. You need this info for your 2019 job hunt!