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Signs that a telecommuting job is a scam

While the global pandemic has pushed some companies to allow employees to work from home, the concept is not new. Working from home has been and remains an opportunity for many people to make money. But that doesn't mean every job offer remotely or online is legal. Some are outright scams committed by people who want to gain access to your personal information or force you to spend money. More details about the tricks of the scammers told the publication GoBankingRates.

Photo: Shutterstock

Job advertisements or misspelled emails

Legitimate companies send correspondence from professional email addresses, not personal ones. When a job offer comes from what appears to be a personal address, such as a Gmail account, be careful: it could be scammers.

An email containing several grammatical errors or misspelled words is also a sign that someone is trying to trick you. Errors of this type can mean that the fraudster is simply careless. However, it can be a strategy to weed out all but the most gullible recipients, making them ideal targets for scams.

Job description and requirements are vague

If you regularly review the job postings, you will likely notice that they almost always contain specific information about job responsibilities, hours of work, and requirements for the job being offered. Salary and benefits may also be listed.

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Job advertisements that can lead to financial scams include vague advertisements with very little detail. As soon as you answer this type of ad, you may receive an email. Please note: the letter can also be general. For example, if your name is missing from the greeting line. In this case, this is a formulaic response to anyone who responds to a letter from scammers.

What looked like a job was a service advertisement

First you apply or register online for what you think is a vacancy. You then receive a response offering you membership in a job database or some kind of career service, such as consulting, for a fee.

While you may well buy a product or membership, advertising a job to get your contact information (including your money) is a scam.

You are required to pay for access to the vacancy

People who are desperately looking for jobs on the internet are vulnerable to scammers. They can ask job seekers to pay for a course or certification to qualify for an attractive job offer.

When you send the money, you might get something in return, but it won't be a welcome job. A legitimate job offer does not require payment to apply.

Interviews take place on messaging platforms

Online interviewing via web-based interview platforms like Spark Hire or HireFunnel is what you would expect from a decent company. But if you're being offered interviews on messaging services like Google Hangouts or Yahoo Messenger, be careful.

Scammers use these platforms to "interview" you for alleged employment. Then, before the interview ends, they, under the guise of a job offer, ask you for personal information, such as your social security number or bank account number, in order to create a direct deposit for your upcoming paycheck.

The job seems too good to be true

In most cases, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. It is the same with the demanding requirements, which offer easy work for excellent pay without training. If you see an ad like this, you should doubt its veracity.

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If you think this might be a legitimate job opportunity, search the internet to see if it is a scam. Check your stated salary on sites like PayScale or Glassdoor. If it is much less than what you are offered, it is most likely a scam.

The company's internet presence does not exist or is minimal

When a company offers a job you are interested in, study its background, search the website and see if it looks professional and informative or simple and vague. Check any social media accounts to see if there are followers and testimonials to company events and real people who work there.

Also go to LinkedIn and search for the company name. If it really exists, there will be a link on the page - it will lead you to the profiles of employees of real people who actually work there.

Feeling the urgency of hiring

If you see an ad for a company that is hiring urgently or hiring on the same day, be on the lookout. Also, if a representative contacts you immediately after submitting the application and tells you that the company wants to fill the position that day or week, ask politely why. According to a recent Indeed survey, only 4% of job seekers receive a response from the company the same day they apply.

Even no matter how quickly the company wants to hire you, the legitimate recruitment process still takes time.

Web address changed slightly

If you see a job posting from a reputable online job company, get ready to investigate. When you click on the link, you may be redirected to a site that looks legitimate, but take a close look at the web address. Note the slight changes in its spelling. For example, there may be an extra letter, dash, or period.

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Fraudsters often recreate a well-known website using a slightly altered web address to attract the attention of unsuspecting job seekers.

Personal data is requested in advance

While companies are not prohibited from asking for your Social Security number on a job application, you do not need to provide it at this stage. Only after you are offered a job will the company need a number to complete the employment paperwork.

Also, be wary of a job application that asks for your date of birth, as well as answers to random questions like the ones you would use to protect your password. This could be an attempt to steal your data or gain access to your accounts. These could be questions such as "What is your mother's maiden name?", "Who was your first employer?", "What was the name of your first pet?" And so on.

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