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Ways to avoid online job scams before you accept the offer

Jobs
Posted at 2:07 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 10:46:46-04

Not wanting to return to the office? After working remotely for more than a year, some companies are opting to stay remote or offer up positions that are done right from the comfort of your own home.

So, how do you find the right fit and avoid scammers trying to get your information and your money?

Watch out for the most common scams as shared by the Federal Trade Commission:

Reshipping scams: If you’re searching for a job online, you might see positions advertised for quality control managers or virtual personal assistants that have been placed by scammers. But here’s how you can tell it’s a scam: once you’re “hired,” the company says that your “job” is to receive packages at home, discard the original packaging and receipts, repackage the products, and then reship them to an address they give you.

Sometimes the address is overseas. The products are often high-priced goods, like name-brand electronics, bought using stolen credit cards. Reshipping goods is never a real job. That’s simply being part of a scam. Sometimes the company tells you it will send your first paycheck after you work for a month, but the paycheck never arrives. And when you try to contact the company, you’ll find that the phone number is no longer connected and the website is deactivated. This “job” is a scam, and if you gave your personal information thinking it was for payroll, you may now have an identity theft problem.

Reselling merchandise scams: In this scam, you may get a call out of the blue from a stranger offering you a job opportunity. Or you may see an ad online or in your local newspaper. In either case, they say that you can make money buying brand-name luxury products for less than retail prices, then selling those products for a profit. But after you pay for the products, the package never arrives or, if it does, it’s full of junk.

FlexJobs.com - a job search site dedicated to remote or work-from-home jobs - shares even more to watch out for, including these four steps you should take before you accept a job:

1. Do an online search for the company. Use keywords like, "scam," "review," or "complaint."

2. Get feedback from someone you trust about the position you're being offered. If they think it's too good to be true, it probably is.

3. Don't pay to get the job. Legitimate jobs will never ask for cash in exchange for you to do work.

4. Don't cash checks sent your way where you are supposed to send a portion back in cash or gift cards to the "employer." The check will bounce and you will be on the hook to repay the amount of the fake check.