4 Ways to Avoid Being Scammed from Remote Job Listings

4 Ways to Avoid Being Scammed from Remote Job Listings

Have you been scammed from remote job listings before? Maybe you’ve been promised to be paid $2,500 a day by just making a one time $100 investment (please don’t fall for any of those). More likely, you have applied to a seemingly legitimate job post on Indeed or Monster, but have received emails asking you to perform some tasks like receiving a box before you can begin. If you have been in a similar situation, or just beginning your search for remote jobs, read on!


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1) Always Check for a Website


Checking for a company website is a surefire way to make sure you avoid being scammed from remote job listings. Think about it, if you’re a company wanting to hire remote workers, then having a website just makes a lot of sense. But even in today’s age, not having a website or at least a web presence is pretty uncommon. A legitimate company will have a website or an online presence of some sort, that could be a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter Page that is fairly active. A company being transparent is extremely important in making sure you land a quality remote job. Use their website to see if their mission and company culture aligns with your values and goals.


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2) Look for the Signs of Scam


Scammers play a game called the numbers game. They don’t care about the quality of their listings, they just want to get their listing out to as many people as possible. Here’s 4 signs to really look out for to avoid being scammed by remote job listings.

Grammatical Errors: Finding grammatical errors is an easy way to see if the remote job listing is a scam or not. Companies spend a lot of time crafting their job posting to entice applicants to send in their resumes or cover letters. Even the best writers have the occasional typo. One or two typos or even a missed punctuation mark is not out of the ordinary. However, scammers typically don’t spend the time on details such as grammar. They’re more focused on getting applicants hooked by using words like “easy money” or “invest $X now to get $X per week” or “have a phone? Make 10 quadrillion dollars a day just by posting on Facebook.”

Repeat Content: Seeing the same remote job listing from the same company on different remote job boards is not uncommon. Employers want to make sure they get a stream of qualified applicants from the sites they populate. Just because you see the same job listing, even with a different title/tagline on We Work Remotely or Indeed, doesn’t make it a scam. What makes it a scam is seeing the same grammatically error filled listing on multiple job boards or Facebook pages but under different companies or names. Also, most remote job listings allow you to filter out by type of work such as marketing, web development, or copywriting, however if you see the same scam listing across these different categories, it is most likely scam.

Asks for Personal Information: Scammers are out there to bait people who think they can make easy money online and then sign up by giving away some personal information to “get started” or “tax purposes.” DON’T. This is definitely a trap. Legitimate companies looking to hire will almost always have you fill out an application, send a resume or cover letter, and direct you to an interview or onboarding process. They will never ask you to send over a W-2 or any legal documents over email because it is not secure. Usually, they have a company portal they direct you to that makes you fill out all the relevant information before you start officially working for them.

No Interview: Hiring an employee is already a daunting task for any company. It takes a large amount of time and resources to make sure the right employee is hired for the team. Hiring a remote employee adds another level of complexity and care to ensure the hiree is a right fit with the company’s values and goals. A legitimate employer, even if their remote job listing says “immediate hire” or “begin ASAP” will spend time getting to know the potential employee personally through an interview. In almost any case, scammers will never ask you for an interview because they either have no face to show, or don’t want to put in that effort. They will have you “get started” by doing a “small task” by responding to their email that asks for some personal information. Legitimate remote employers will almost always interview you and specifically lay out your responsibilities for the company.


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3) Ask Them Specific Questions


Scammers usually have a pre-programmed response that are generally broad enough to answer any questions you may have and tend to be quite ambiguous. Most of the time it will either not contain enough information to answer your question completely or provide too much information that is not relevant at all. Legitimate employers will make sure to answer your questions as succinctly as possible because they want to make sure you are carrying out the responsibilities of your roles correctly so their business runs as efficiently as possible. Although it is rather rude and risky to blatantly ask the person, “Is this a scam?” in case some of these opportunities might seem too good to be true, try asking them specific questions about your duties, tools to use, training, compensation, benefits/perks, travel, equipment etc., and gauge how they respond to it. Using this tip can effectively help you separate your legitimate “too good to be true” opportunities from illegitimate remote job listing scams.


letsworkremotely | Remote Jobs, Online Jobs, Work From Home Jobs

4) Use Dedicated Remote Job Boards


Hands down, the BEST way to avoid being scammed from remote job listings is to use dedicated remote job boards. While they aren’t perfect by any means, and you might still have to sift through dozens of jobs until you find one that interests you, I rarely find illegitimate, scam listings on these remote job boards and if I do find one, I can immediately report it. The reason you will almost always find a real opportunity on these dedicated remote job boards is because they curate all the remote job postings and typically charge a fee to post these jobs so they are viewed by qualified applicants. Scammers know that their money is not worth spending to advertise their opportunity to this crowd, who are looking more than just “work from home, get rich quick” ordeals. So if you really want to find wonderful remote job or work from home opportunities, check out dedicated remote job boards like: We Work Remotely, Remotive, RemoteOk, Working Nomad, Remote.co, and letsworkremotely.


As a final word, be careful out there. The internet is wonderful, but it is also littered with a lot of malicious content meant to take advantage of people who are susceptible to these messages. Scammers have gotten increasingly crafty with their targeted messages and automation algorithms that even for the trained eye, it’s sometimes hard to pick out what is real and what is fake. It just takes a lot of practice and some frustration before you get the hang of it. Use tips like the ones offered in this post to help you navigate through all the trash until you find the remote job of your dream and live your life to the fullest. Good luck out there! Comment below if you have any other tips that you’ve found helpful to avoid being scammed from remote job listings.

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