Last year, I discovered work-from-home Facebook groups, which I joined in order to promote Side Hustle Mom, and quickly learned that there are more than 2,593,485 direct sales companies out there (which all manage to be better than their competitor and have the most generous comp program of them all!) and -- somehow -- an even larger number of scams.
When you are desperate for a job, it can be easy to get sucked in to empty promises and photos of piles of cash, but what you may not realize is that by even humoring these people, you are putting yourself at risk of not only wasting your precious time, but draining your bank account.
If you think you may be dealing with a scammer — or want to educate yourself before searching for a work-from-home job — read on to discover some of the biggest red flags when it comes to these common scams.
1. How is the job poster's English?
9 times out of 10, if the poster's English is broken, it's a scam. As you may have noticed, our dentist/realtor friend's post doesn't make a whole lot of sense (which is surprising, seeing as how qualified he is), which probably means that he is not who he says. If it isn’t necessarily broken English but another red flag, do NOT give the benefit of the doubt; always protect yourself and save yourself the stress of a potential scam!
2. Check the name.
Check the poster's name - does it make any sense? In the case of Walter Lynaugh Walter, I am going to call BS. Another thing to check is their profile and whether or not their username and real name are the same (Example: The profile says Walter Walter, but the url is facebook.com/girliegirlamyqgirl).
3. Check the profile.
Was the profile created less than 2 months ago (like it obviously was with our friend Dean, who has 0 friends and loves working for Hyundai so much he wants to show off their newest model in his cover pic)? RUN.
4. Google Hangout and/or WhatsApp interviews are not a real thing.
The great thing about "interviewing" on Google Hangouts (for the scammer, that is)? There is no audio or video, just typing. If you think you have a catch of a job and truly believe it is legit, do NOT accept an online interview — tell them it’s phone or nothing. (This is a great way to weed out the scammers quickly!)
5. Applications and questionnaires do not usually ask irrelevant questions
Are you trustworthy? Can we trust you with our money? Have you ever been to jail? Are you nice? While these questions may sound pretty juvenile, they are actually some of the questions that I have seen on these fake applications. Look: If someone is applying for some kind of a work-from-home payroll job, is a legitimate company really going to take someone’s word that they are nice and trustworthy? NO! They are going to go through an extensive interview process, reference checks, and probably even a background check; not hire someone on the same day because they said they are nice and took the time to Google Hangout with them.
6. If the job seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Oh look: Dean is back, everyone, explaining how this work-from-home job with Hyundai works! (Wait… didn’t he say before it’s $36/hour? But now it’s up to $15,000/month salary, which is totally worth the small investment, right?! #atleasttheytakebitcoin)
In all seriousness though, think about it: Why is somebody from a company like Hyundai going from Facebook group to Facebook group searching for people who want to get paid $15,000/month from home? Wouldn't that be a dream job? That being said, if such a position existed, people would know about this job from other sources and Hyundai could be selective about who they hire and not have to constantly look for employees.
I know that I may come across as harsh and sarcastic, but I am so sick of seeing posts in these groups about how somebody just lost what little money they had in their bank account because their new employer was not honest with them.
Please be smart out there.
Use common sense.
There truly are plenty of legitimate work-from-home opportunities and careers out there, so don’t lose hope and ALWAYS do your homework!
If you ever have any questions or need a second opinion about an opportunity, my inbox is always open.