Legit work from home jobs and identifying scams
With the number of scams lurking around online it is tough to know whether some work from home jobs are actually legit.
A large number of job search sites and gig platforms are dealing with such a vast volume of postings that it is almost impossible to verify and screen each one for validity.
So as a freelancer how do you ensure the work from home jobs you are applying for are 100% legit?
Use reputable platforms
It almost goes without saying (but we will say it anyway!) that using a legitimate work platform can help to eradicate fake jobs and people looking to hire that are less than honest.
While it is impossible to screen every single job, and freelancers will still need to use good judgement, the sign up process for many of the reputable sites naturally filters out the scammers.
The bigger platforms typically have a reporting process to flag and report any work at home jobs that are not legit.
Check reviews to verify legit work from home jobs
Another simple check that you can run as a work at home freelancer is to check jobs for previous reviews. This will help you to verify the legitimacy of the poster or company.
If there are no reviews, or even worse, bad reviews then it could be a red flag.
Reading through the experiences of other freelancers can provide insights into the job and help to determine if is is on the level.
Research the company or job poster
The internet is a powerful tool and you can use it to help check whether or not work from home jobs are legit.
A quick search of the company can reveal information that indicates if the company is an honest professional outfit or a fake business.
Look for items like:
- A well put together website
- Social media presence
- Age of accounts
- Recommendations and links with other businesses
- News reports or press releases
All these items can help you identify the company as a real business.
Newer companies may not be able to show things like longevity of social accounts but that does not necessarily mean they are a scam.
Just use common sense and proceed with caution.
Use the ‘too good to be true’ test for legit work from home jobs
There is a saying that goes ‘If it looks to good to be true, then it probably is!”
To determine if work at home jobs are legit or not, this adage is a good test.
While most companies are prepared to compensate fairly for work performed, look out for people making unbelievably good offers or promising high rates of pay for very little work.
This is usually a good indicator of a scam, so don’t fall for it.
Use an escrow service
Many work at home or freelance platforms offer an escow service for their members to use.
This is where the client deposits funds to an account that is visible to everyone, and the money is released on satisfactory completion of work.
It is a good way to ensure than any work from home jobs are legit.
Escrow services can be also found online for independent users and operate in much the same fashion.
They typically charge a small fee or percentage for the service but most work from home freelancers find that it is worth it to protect their earnings.
Ask for a deposit
Alternatively, if using an escrow service is out of the question, then try and negotiate an up-front deposit for the work.
Most companies that are legit are quite happy to pay a portion of the total sum in advance for their work at home jobs.
This ensures that you minimize the risk of performing work without getting paid.
Many freelancers like to charge 50% or even 60% deposit, finding that this covers most of the time invested in the project.
Don’t pay any money out
If the work at home job you are applying for is not legit then you may find that the hiring person or ‘business’ will at some point request a financial investment or commitment from you.
This could be money for training, or for access to their own proprietary systems.
Either way – don’t pay it!
This is one of the biggest indicators of a scam and many work from home job seekers have been burned this way.
Reputable companies will provide training or access to systems at their own expense.
Never give out private information
Along the same lines, also never give out personal or private information to a work at home job poster. Legit hirers won’t ask you for it.
You should not give out information like:
- Bank details
- Credit card information
- Debit card information
- National Insurance (social security) number
- Passport or driver license details
Again, this is information that real and honest companies just do not ask for so any requests of this nature should set alarm bells ringing.
Red flag recap for legit work from home jobs
We have covered most of the ‘red flags’ that serve as indicators of work from home jobs that are not legit, but we will recap them here for easy reference.
Use these pointers to determine whether the jobs you are applying for are honest or a scam.
- Use reputable plaforms or job search sites
- Check reviews from previously completed jobs
- Do your research on the company or job poster
- Determine if the work from home opportunity seems ‘Too good to be true”
- Use an escrow service where possible
- Request a 50-60% deposit upfront
- Do not pay out any money to the company or individual job poster
- Do not give out any private financial or personal information
While it can be a challenge to identify every single scam that is posted online, these tips should help you filter out the majority of fake listings.
Using the pointers in this article will help you determine which work from home jobs are legit, and which ones are not.