Avoid Scams

remote job scams

Remote Job Scams: 12 Strategies for Spotting Fake WAH Jobs

Although occurring much less frequently than they did a decade ago, remote job scams still occasionally crop up to try and steal the identities or monies of virtual jobseekers. Virtual Vocations has tips you can use to spot remote job scams and keep your information and bank account safe from scammers peddling fake WAH jobs.

remote job scams

Remote Job Scams: 12 Strategies for Spotting Fake WAH Jobs

Fake work-at-home jobs are not only a waste of your time but also a costly compromiser of your online security. When researching and applying to telecommute jobs, it’s crucial to learn to spot remote job scams and always remain aware of changes in technology that can allow for more sophisticated job scams to slip through your radar.

To help you conduct a telecommute job search free of remote job scams, we have assembled a list of 12 strategies that you can use to be sure every position you apply for is legitimate.

1. Search For Reviews

Many virtual companies rely on good reviews to help legitimize their services or products. Reviews help customers and potential employees discover what makes each company unique. They can also help you spot a shell company masquerading as a great opportunity.

Search for reviews on popular sites such as Google and Linkedin. If your query does not yield search results about the employer, this could be a bad sign. Although some small businesses do not have a particularly large online presence, you should be able to find at least some trace of their business if they operate within the telecommute space. Additionally, if you see many reviews claiming a job or business is a scam, avoid applying before you can verify the position.

2. Keep the Better Business Bureau in your Bookmarks

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) collects data about businesses including claims of fraudulent activities from businesses. Their Scam Tracker webpage is a great resource to use as a reference check when want to apply for remote jobs online. In addition to monitoring scams, the BBB also verifies businesses in their database and assigns letter grade scores based on a customer feedback, complaints, and reviews. If a business has a favorable rating on the BBB site, you can trust that it is a real business.

3. Never Give Information Up Front

You apply to what seems like the perfect remote job, only to be asked in a follow-up email to send information like your Social Security number, bank information, and full address. Don’t do it!

Unfortunately, hackers, scammers, and criminals all across the Internet use this tactic to lure in unsuspecting jobseekers into a web of identity theft. Guard your information cautiously.

As we discussed in our post “2 New Job Scams Affecting Telecommuters,” you should not be asked to provide sensitive personal information until you have interviewed with and been hired by a legitimate company. Typically, information requests like these are required when filling out tax forms or completing paperwork for a background check. In the case of a background check, you can often provide the last four digitals of your Social instead of the full number.

4. Be Suspicious Of Email Addresses Without a Clear Company Name

Reputation and branding are weighed very heavily in the remote work world. If you come across a business that emails you with a personal email from Hushmail or FastMail, you should give pause. Although some newer companies do use personal emails to conduct business, especially via Outlook or Gmail, they should be able to provide you with at least one company email domain address or contact.

Additionally, if the email username has a long string of numbers attached, it could be a fake account used for criminal activity. There are also scammers who pretend to be from a well-known business. You can spot a fake by going to the real company website and searching for the contact email address or an address of a member of the executive team. If the company address does not match that of the person emailing you, it is likely your “potential employer” is attempting to scam you.

5. Ask for a Link to Their Website

There may be times, even when following many of the strategies on how to spot remote job scams, when you still are not sure if a job is real. Usually, companies provide a link to their website within their company signature, but failing to do so could signal a red flag.

If you have a hunch but want to gain more information, ask for a link to the company’s website. A respectable company should have no problem providing you with a place to view more information about their work. If your request is refused, you should refuse any further contact with the employer.

Did you know Virtual Vocations makes it simple to research legitimate remote employers? Visit the Telecommute Companies Database for profiles of more than 10,000 companies known for hiring professionals to work from home.

6. Verify the Legitimacy of Their Company Website

Once you do visit the website of a potential employer, review it with a critical eye. If the web pages contain a variety of misspelled words, strange formatting or use a familiar company name like Best Buy or Apple, but do not offer the standard branding you are familiar with, they are likely part of a spoofed site.

Some scammers use real business names and information from company websites to trick people into believing the fake company is legitimate. This tactic is used against jobseekers and customers who fill out applications for or buy products from potentially dangerous hackers.

The new standard for websites is increased security for web addresses. If you find a site with a URL that shows “HTTP” instead of “HTTPS,” it could be less secure. This doesn’t necessarily mean the business is fake, but inputting your information into forms on non-HTTPS websites could, at least, put your personal data at greater risk of a breach.

7. Read All Job Requirements Carefully

One of the major giveaways of a job posting scam is the quality of the job description and requirements. When examining a job posting, remember the adage “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.”

Look for details about what your daily responsibilities will be. Job postings should include information about the company and how the role fits within the larger services offered by the business. Details about education, experience, and skills should be addressed as well.

If you find a bare minimum posting with a number of short, awkward sentences with errors throughout, do not engage. It is not worth continuing to pursue this opportunity as it is most likely an example of a remote job scam.

remote job scams

 

8. Stay Away from Interviews Conducted via Instant Messaging

Although technology has advanced in amazing ways, making it possible for employers and job seekers to connect using a variety of online platforms such as video, messaging and cloud-based document sharing, during the interview process, it is standard to speak over the phone, through a legitimate company email or through video. If a potential employer wants to interview through IM on google hangout with no video, or Yahoo messenger, this is a bad sign. Consider applying for a different position or research the company more thoroughly before you continue with the interview process.

9. Trust Your Instincts

There is no substitute for intuition. Although you may not have all the information to be sure a job posting is a fake, if something feels off to you, it most likely is. As a remote worker, you must learn to trust your gut instinct. In the virtual space you are operating in a wonderful space of opportunity that allows for more equality and rewards based on performance over appearance. However, this environment also allows people to hide behind digital masks and commit fraud more easily.

Your experience will help teach you when you should block an email account or investigate a company more before doing business with them. It is often the small subtle hints that give scammers away, so don’t ignore that feeling.

10. Ask Questions

Asking questions is an excellent way to poke holes in a potential scam. If the job poster cannot or will not answer reasonable questions about the company, their products, services or the job posting itself. This is a sign it isn’t a real opportunity. If anything about the company structure or website is questionable, you have every right to inquire about these details. A legitimate employer will appreciate you asking questions to find out if you are a good fit throughout the hiring process. If your questions are not answered or answered vaguely with no follow-up, it’s likely not a business you want to move forward with.

11. Report the Scam

The remote work world is a community of professionals who share a common digital space as our office. It is our shared responsibility to let others know about scams and help our fellow telecommute jobseekers avoid the dangers of remote job scams. When you come across a fake posting, alert the site you saw it posted on and report the scam to the BBB. You can help get these postings removed and limit criminal activity impacting jobseekers.

12. Subscribe to a Respected Virtual Job Source

If you wonder how you’ll find legitimate opportunities for rewarding virtual work without the hassle of sorting through potential remote job scams, Virtual Vocations is your solution. Utilizing Virtual Vocations during your job search eliminates the stress associated with sorting through remote job scams. Each and every one of the thousands of job postings published to our Telecommute Jobs Database has been vetted by our trained, experienced staff. We also work directly with Employer Partners to help you secure the perfect job to fit your skills and schedule.

Don’t let remote job scams ruin your online job search. There are thousands of verified telecommute opportunities out there. You can find your dream job without having to stick to the traditional nine-to-five office position. Once you implement the strategies we’ve outlined above, you can feel empowered to search for telecommuting jobs with confidence knowing you have the upper hand on scammers.

Have you encountered remote job scams while searching for a work-at-home job? Share your story when you connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear from you! 

Photo Credits: 1. iStock.com/scyther5; 2. iStock.com/stevanovicigor


VVlogoJoining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.

Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.

Register for free or contact us for more information on our service guarantee. We look forward to hearing from you!

wah scams

WAH Scams: What You Need to Know in the New Year

As 2017 approaches, telecommute jobs are in higher demand than at in other time in history—so much so that 82.8% of U.S. professionals would be willing to accept lower wages in exchange for the opportunity to work from home at least some of the time, according to our 2016 National Work and Family Month Telecommuter Survey. Unfortunately, with a greater demand for work-at-home jobs comes a greater supply of WAH scams.

Although WAH scams resources, like the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information Scam Alerts, the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Stopper, and the Virtual Vocations Blog’s Avoid Scams Page, exist to provide telecommute job seekers with the latest in scam news and methods for reporting WAH scams, criminals still succeed in preying on telecommute job seekers in search of legitimate opportunities to work remotely.

2016 WAH Scams Recap

Throughout the year, the Virtual Vocations team has investigated and profiled the most prevalent WAH scams that not only lead to bogus telecommute job opportunities, but also compromise the financial security, identities, and reputations of home-based job seekers.

High-Pay Purchasing Scam

In a call made to Miami-Fort Lauderdale’s WPLG ABC Local 10 News consumer reporter Christina Vazquez, a local woman named Catherine Ulrich reported that she had been offered a work-at-home job via an email recruiter promising $75,000 a year for purchasing international goods.

After being told she got the job despite never having interviewed for it, Ulrich became suspicious. Her suspicions were confirmed when the email recruiter asked Ulrich for her bank account details, credit limit information, and credit card number. The email recruiter attempted to assure Ulrich in saying that this information was critical to the success of her new job, as she would be required to make product purchases from non-U.S. merchants.

Thankfully, Ulrich listened to her instincts and did not comply with the email recruiter’s request. Instead, she phoned her local consumer reporter to share news of the scam. Providing such sensitive financial information to an unfamiliar source could have resulted in Ulrich’s identity being compromised or new credit card accounts being opened in her name.

Co-ed Administrative Assistants Scam

In a February 2016 scam warning from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the BBB cautioned college students against an email online job scam seeking administrative assistants for opportunities with good pay and flexible scheduling. This scam has been particularly effective because, as Virtual Vocations found in our investigation into the professional desires of job seekers in their 20s and 30s, What Millennials Want Most in a Telecommute Job is flexibility.

Once college students replied to the administrative assistants ad email they were immediately offered a job. The scammers attempted to make the job offer appear more legitimate by asking students to complete a short online chat or email interview. However, the first task new hires were asked to perform was to cash a check mailed to them by the employer, keep a portion of funds, and forward the remainder to another party connected with the scam.

Related: Apply to Screened Administrative Telecommute Jobs at Virtual Vocations

At-Home Babysitting Scam

According to a police report uncovered by the Argus Leader, a Sioux Falls woman lost $2,000 in an work-at-home scam seeking babysitting services.

Upon responding to the babysitting job ad, the scam victim was mailed a $2,000 upfront payment for services, but was asked to cash the check and wire the funds to an alternate account. It wasn’t until after the sitter cashed and wired the funds that she realized the check was fake and she was on the hook for the $2,000 payment. Sioux Falls Police Department spokesperson Sam Clemens told the South Dakota newspaper that check-based scams are not new to the area.

WAH Scams
IGM Fake Accounting Job Scam

Operating under the identity of a legitimate employer—Canada-based IGM Financial Inc.—a con artist approached Janet Woody of Mitchell County, North Carolina in April 2016 with the promise of an $18/hour work-at-home accounting job.

Related: Search legitimate Accounting Telecommute Jobs at Virtual Vocations

Unlike the subject of the High-Pay Purchasing Scam mentioned above, Woody did participate in a job interview. By her account, the interviewer asked all of the typical questions any job seeker would expect to answer. Upon accepting the job, however, Woody was mailed a questionably large check to cover costs for training materials and work supplies.

The $3,140 check was fake. Unfortunately, Woody only learned that the check was fake after she deposited the check in to her bank account and, at the request of her new boss, routed nearly $1,500 to the employer’s “vendor,” who was supposed to supply Woody with her new training materials and work supplies.

Mystery Shopping Scam 

Thanks to the experience of one telecommute job seeker, the potential scam victim in this mystery shopping case was able to thwart the con artist’s scheme.

A report from NBC Connecticut recounts the story of Cathy DeSimone, an experienced mystery shopper who completes mystery shopping assignments to earn spending money. DeSimone, who is used to mystery shopping gigs with payouts of up to $30, was curious about a mystery shopping assignment with a $250 payout.

DeSimone noticed the first red flag signaling an online job scam when she learned of the high dollar payout of the mystery shopping assignment. Next, DeSimone was sent a Priority Mail envelope containing a $2,800 check and instructions to keep her $250 mystery shopping fee and mail the remainder to the company through MoneyGram, but she decided to report the scam instead.

Curiosity does not kill every cat.

National Reshipping Scam

In March 2015, WHNT News alerted job seekers to a re-shipping scam that nearly cost a Boaz, Alabama woman more than $20,000. This scam received the attention of the Office of the U.S. Postal Inspectors and the FBI, but it has persisted throughout 2016 and more re-shipping scam victims continue to pile up across the nation, according to WHNT. The scam relies on the allure of remote work coupled with high rates of pay.

Once hired on for a work-at-home re-shipping position as a “Logistics Coordinator,” scam subjects are tasked with inspecting packages of all makes and models, from electronics to hunting equipment, then forwarding them to a second address. There’s a better than good chance that the merchandise handled by the victims is stolen; not to mention, the initial vicitim of this case, who wished to remain nameless, received a $28,000 direct deposit into her bank account for her inspection and re-shipping services—$28,000 fake dollars, that is.

The consequences of re-shipping WAH scams are enormous. By depositing the fake check, victims are ultimately left with a negative balance minus the pre-deposit balance of their accounts. Also, as with any work-at-home job scam involving financial transactions, victims’ sensitive personal and financial information is comprised, which could result in fraudulent debits attributed to their accounts and fake credit card accounts cropping up in their names.

WellStar Logo Data Entry Scam

WSB-TV reported on the story of Atlanta native Andrea Frazier, who received a packet of information in the mail offering her a position as an at-home data entry specialist for prominent, Atlanta-based healthcare company WellStar Health System.

At Virtual Vocations, we know WellStar to be a reputable telecommute-friendly employer, as evidenced in our Telecommute Companies Database Profile of WellStar Health System, so we understand why Andrea was eager to receive an opportunity to work from home for WellStar.

Despite the official WellStar logo branded across the information packet Andrea received describing an at-home data entry position paying upwards of $25 an hour, all was not as it seemed. A scammer had stolen WellStar’s logo in an effort to make their con appear believable and lure even the most skeptical telecommute job seekers into their scheme, culminating in an offer to mail a check to applicants for costs associated with setting up their home offices.

Thankfully, Andrea recognized WAH scams red flags, like the high rate of pay for data entry work, for which the standard rate of pay is $10 to $15 per hour, and the email contact associated with the job posting routing to a Gmail account, rather than a WellStar.org email address, and reported the scam before she deposited the fake check into her bank account. Otherwise, the scammer would have asked Andrea to return a portion of those fake funds due to “over-payment,” leaving Andrea paying out her own real money to the con artist.

Related: Find Current, Reputable Data Entry Telecommute Jobs at Virtual Vocations

WAH scams

6 Tips for Recognizing and Avoiding WAH Scams

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. —Benjamin Franklin

1. Beware Clickbait

Online job advertisements and unsolicited work offer emails containing eye-catching lines like “You’ll NEVER believe this work-at-home job!” or “Want to work from home in your pajamas?” should raise the red flag.

These sensational phrases are meant to rope you into clicking an associated URL that will then install a virus onto your computer or send you to a bogus job application webpage that asks for your name, address, Social Security number, bank account information, and other sensitive personal details that can be used to clone your identity or open credit card accounts in your name.

2. Avoid Pay Traps

Whether an employer tries to entice you with the promise of high hourly wages or a company wants you to invest in their business, pay traps are telecommuting quicksand. Be mindful of pay-related red flags like “EARN $100/HOUR!!!!” or “PAY A ONE-TIME FEE OF $99.95 TO RECEIVE YOUR KIT!” Remember, work-at-home wages are comparable to those provided for traditional on-site jobs, and as with traditional employment, you would never pay a fee to work for a legitimate employer.

Telecommute jobs aren’t magical methods for getting rich quick; they are the same jobs as those found onsite in a traditional office building, except telecommute jobs allow remote employees and Independent Contractors to work from home, a co-working center, or another non-centralized location. Legitimate telecommuters are project managers, teachers, nurses, and IT analysts, not typists, reshippers, craft assemblers, and email processors.

Related: Are you curious about the amount of real pay you can receive as a telecommuter? We surveyed more than 1,600 telecommuters and telecommute job seekers and learned over 30% of respondents earn upwards of $71,000 a year. Discover additional insights into telecommuting trends and telecommuter demographics in our 2015 Year-End Report.

3. Thoroughly Research Employers

Purveyors of WAH scams know that telecommute job seekers do their due diligence when searching for work online; that’s why they make every effort to mask their contact information, even going so far as to steal the company names and logos of reputable telecommute-friendly employers to establish dummy domains that throw off even the most astute Web researchers.

We’ve made it more convenient for telecommute job seekers to research and connect with legitimate employers that value remote work.

  • Access our free Telecommute Companies Database, which features profiles of thousands of employers known to hire telecommuters in dozens of industries. We provide you with essential employer details like their headquarters location, website URL, and RSS feed of their blog or latest news, as well as links to each company’s Wikipedia page, Better Business Bureau profile, and profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
  • Read our Friday Employer Alert Blog posts featuring free telecommuting job leads submitted to us fresh that week by the employers themselves!
4. Safeguard Sensitive Personal Data

Avoid companies that are too eager to gain access to your personal information. Think about past experiences you have had when applying for non-telecommute jobs:

An employer doesn’t typically ask for personal information like your Social Security number, bank account information, or driver’s license number until you have received and accepted a formal job offer.

Sensitive personal information is often used to run a credit or background check, establish direct deposit arrangements, and complete tax documents; it is never needed to apply to a job.

5. Consider the Source

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is not advice that should be followed when looking for at-home employment. Often, the professional appearance (or lack thereof) of a company’s job ad or website can be a glaring neon sign lighting the way to a work-at-home scam. Turn and run if you notice any of the following signs of WAH scams:

  • Unsolicited job ads in your inbox or calls made to your mobile number
  • Glaring typographical and grammatical errors in the text of the ad
  • Speaking of neon signs…avoid ads that contain blinking, glittering graphics and formatting circa your 2005 MySpace profile
6. Trust your Hunches

Sometimes the obvious solution is the best one. Your instincts would prevent you from getting into a car with a stranger driving a panel van and waving a bag of candy at you, so channel these same instincts while cruising the Web for online jobs. You will never be led astray if you follow this idiom with our own spin:

If it seems too good to be true, then it’s not the telecommute job for you!

Virtual Vocations’ Commitment Job Searches Free of WAH Scams

Since Virtual Vocations’ founding in 2007, we’ve grown to approve an average of 10,000 new, hand-screened, telecommute-only job leads per month for publication to our Telecommute Jobs Database.

Our trained staff of Researchers, Job Quality Specialists, and Quality Assurance Specialists saves Virtual Vocations members the time and frustration of looking for a legitimate telecommuting job by communicating directly with telecommute-friendly employers and visiting hundreds of social media streams, employer websites, blogs, and industry and specialty job boards daily to bring you the newest and best remote job leads available.

Unlike other job aggregation services, Virtual Vocations publishes hundreds of new job vacancies every day, ensuring not only that each job posting will allow you to work from home a minimum of 20% of the time, but also that every job is free from “Start Your Own Business” opportunities, fee-based requirements, commission-only pay, and WAH scams.

In addition to complete access to our Telecommute Jobs Database, Virtual Vocations subscribers receive a variety of exclusive telecommute job resources designed to give job seekers the best opportunities for success in their telecommute job searches. Here’s a sampling of some of the exclusive telecommute job resources we offer:

  • Telecommuting Handbook and Interview guide downloads
  • A Telecommute Toolkit featuring e-courses like Create a Winning Telecommute Resume and Telecommute Job Searching for Mid-Level and Professional Job Seekers
  • Action plans and downloadable resume templates
  • Access to Industry Guides to help you navigate your search for a telecommute job in popular categories like Education and Nursing
  • The Telecommute Companies Database filled with thousands of profiles of telecommute-friendly employers known for hiring qualified professionals to work remotely
  • A team of experienced customer service professionals ready to answer your questions about utilizing Virtual Vocations during your telecommute job search via phone at 1-800-379-5092, email at customerservice@virtualvocations.com, and Live Chat Support on our Homepage

Has a WAH scam affected your life? Share your story when you connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook and Twitter. We’d love to hear from you! 

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VVlogoJoining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.

Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.

new job scams

WARNING: New Scams Plaguing Telecommuters

Editor’s Note: Online scam artists will go to any lengths to prey on the earnest desires of job seekers in need of work, but Virtual Vocations is here to alert you to their schemes.

Before you launch your next telecommute job search, read about and remember these two job scams plaguing telecommuters in search of legitimate work-at-home jobs:

WellStar Logo Data Entry Scam
The Con

Less than a week ago, WSB-TV reported on the story of Atlanta native Andrea Frazier, who had recently received a packet of information in the mail offering her a position as an at-home data entry specialist for prominent, Atlanta-based healthcare company WellStar Health System.

At Virtual Vocations, we know WellStar to be a reputable telecommute-friendly employer, as evidenced in our Telecommute Companies Database profile of WellStar Health System, so we understand why Andrea was eager to receive an opportunity to work from home for WellStar.

The Catch

Despite the official WellStar logo branded across the information packet Andrea received describing an at-home data entry position paying upwards of $25.00 an hour, all was not as it seemed.

A scammer had stolen WellStar’s logo in an effort to make their con appear believable and lure even the most skeptical telecommute job seekers into their scheme, culminating in an offer to mail a check to applicants for costs associated with setting up their home offices.

The Consequences

Thankfully, Andrea recognized job scam red flags, like the high rate of pay for data entry work—typically paying $10.00 to $15.00 per hour—and the email contact associated with the job posting routing to a Gmail account, rather than a WellStar.org email address, and reported the scam before she deposited the fake check into her bank account. Otherwise, the scammer would have asked Andrea to return a portion of those fake funds due to “over-payment,” leaving Andrea shelling out her own real money to the fraudster.

Are you interested in a true work-at-home data entry job? Explore current remote Data Entry jobs in our Telecommute Jobs Database.

National Reshipping Scam
The Con

In March 2015, WHNT News alerted job seekers to a re-shipping scam that nearly cost a Boaz, Alabama woman more than $20,000. This scam received the attention of the Office of the U.S. Postal Inspectors and the FBI, but it has persisted over the last year and more re-shipping scam victims continue to pile up across the nation, according to WHNT.

The scam relies on the allure of the ease and convenience of remote work coupled with high rates of pay. Once hired on for a work-at-home re-shipping position as a “Logistics Coordinator,” scam victims are tasked with inspecting packages of all makes and models, from electronics to hunting equipment, then forwarding them to a second address.

The Catch

There’s a better than good chance that the merchandise handled by the victims is stolen; not to mention, the initial vicitim of this case, who wished to remain nameless, received a $28,000 direct deposit into her bank account for her inspection and re-shipping services—$28,000 fake dollars, that is.

The Consequences

If you spend the fake money deposited into your bank account as a result of this re-shipping scam, you’ll be left with a negative balance minus the pre-deposit balance of your account. Also, as with any work-at-home job scam involving financial transactions, victims’ senstive personal and financial information is comprised, which could result in fraudulent debits attributed to your account and fake credit card accounts cropping up in your name.

How Can You Avoid Work-at-Home Job Scams?

To put it simply: search for legitimate telecommute jobs via Virtual Vocations.

When you search for remote jobs in our Telecommute Jobs Database packed with more than 13,000 telecommute job leads in 40+ career categories, you can do so with the peace of mind that our database has been cleared of work-at-home job scams, commission-only jobs, and “Start Your Own Business” opportunities.

Our highly trained staff of Researchers, Job Quality Specialists, and Quality Assurance Specialists vet every telecommute job posting added to our database. Virtual Vocations saves you time and frustration so that you can focus on what matters: applying to real telecommute jobs.

Do you want to know more about our team? Check out our About Us page and read profiles of our staff members like Sarah, Peggy, and Brad

REGISTER FOR FREE at Virtual Vocations to begin your virtual job search with the company behind the largest, safest, and most comprehensive telecommute-only job board online.

Were you recently affected by a work-at-home job scam? Share your story when you connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitter, Google+, and Pinterest. We’d love to hear from you! 

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VVlogoJoining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.

Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.

job scams

2 New Job Scams Affecting Telecommuters

Work-at-home scam artists will go to any lengths to prey on the earnest desires of job seekers in need of work, but Virtual Vocations is here to alert you to their schemes.

Scammers often rely on ploys like playing to the emotions of their victims or portraying themselves as a credible source in order to establish trust, according to a Better Business Bureau report on FINRA’s examination of the science behind scamming tactics. The recently uncovered job scams described below utilize both of these tactics to trap job seekers into a web of deceit.

Beware these two new job scams affecting telecommuters in search of legitimate work-at-home jobs:

$75K Purchaser Scam
The Con

In a call made to Miami-Fort Lauderdale’s WPLG ABC Local 10 News consumer reporter Christina Vazquez, an area woman named Catherine Ulrich reported that she had been offered a work-at-home job via an email recruiter promising $75,000 a year for purchasing international goods.

The Catch

After being told she got the job despite never having interviewed for it, Ulrich became suspicious. Her suspicions were confirmed when the email recruiter asked Ulrich for her bank account details, credit limit information, and credit card number. The email recruiter attempted to assure Ulrich in saying that this information was critical to the success of her new job, as she would be required to make product purchases from non-U.S. merchants.

The Consequences

Thankfully, Ulrich listened to her gut and did not comply with the email recruiter’s request, but rather phoned her local consumer reporter to share news of the scam. Providing such sensitive financial information to an unfamiliar source could have resulted in Ulrich’s identity being compromised or new credit card and bank accounts being opened in her name.

job scams

IGM Fake Check Scam
The Con

Operating under the identity of a legitimate employer—Canada-based IGM Financial Inc.—a con artist approached Janet Woody of Mitchell County, North Carolina in April 2016 with an $18/hour work-at-home accounting job (Follow this link to browse current, legitimate Telecommute Accounting Jobs in our database.)

Unlike the $75K Purchaser Scam mentioned above, Woody did participate in a job interview and by her account the interviewer asked all of the typical questions any job seeker would expect to answer. Upon accepting the job, Woody was even mailed a large check to cover costs for training materials and work supplies.

The Catch

The $3,140 check for training materials and supplies was fake. Unfortunately, Woody only learned that the check was fake after she deposited the check in to her bank account and routed nearly $1,500 to the employer’s “vendor,” who was supposed to supply Woody with her new work supplies.

The Consequences

Ms. Woody is now personally responsible for the $1,500 she wired to the vendor. She is working with her local police department and IGM to track down the scam artist posing as a hiring manager from the company. However, there is a silver lining to this story: Woody had not formally resigned from the job she had at the time she accepted the scam offer, so she is still gainfully employed.

Enjoy a Scam-Free Work-at-Home Job Search at Virtual Vocations

When you search for remote jobs in our Telecommute Jobs Database packed with more than 13,000 telecommute job leads in 40+ career categories, you can do so with the peace of mind that our database has been cleared of work-at-home job scams, commission-only jobs, and “Start Your Own Business” opportunities. Virtual Vocations saves you time and frustration so that you can focus on what matters: applying to real telecommute jobs.

REGISTER FOR FREE at Virtual Vocations to begin your virtual job search with the company behind the largest, safest, and most comprehensive telecommute-only job board online.

Were you recently affected by a work-at-home job scam? Share your answer when you connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitter, Google+, and Pinterest. We’d love to hear from you! 

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VVlogoJoining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.

Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.

online job scams

Spring Online Job Scams Roundup

The first flowers of spring have sprung, but so have new online job scams targeting honest, hard-working telecommute job seekers. 

We’re here to ensure you’re keep abreast of the latest online job scams designed to hinder your telecommute job search and steal hard-earned funds from your bank account.

Be on the lookout for these check-based work-at-home job scams:

Administrative Assistant Scam

The Con 

In a February 2016 scam warning from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the BBB cautioned college students against an email online job scam seeking administrative assistants for opportunities with good pay and flexible scheduling. This scam is particularly effective because, as Virtual Vocations found in our investigation into the professional desires of job seekers in their 20s and 30s, What Millennials Want Most in a Telecommute Job is flexibility.

The Catch

Once you reply to the email, you are immediately offered the job. The scammers may even attempt to make the job seem more legitimate by asking you to compete a short online chat or email interview. When you accept the position, your first assignment is to cash a check mailed to you by the employer, keep a portion of funds, and forward the remainder to another party connected with the scam.

Babysitting Scam

The Con 

According to a police report uncovered by the Argus Leader, a Sioux Falls woman lost $2,000 in an work-at-home scam seeking babysitting services. Sioux Falls Police Department spokesperson Sam Clemens told the Argus Leader that check-based scams are not new to the area.

The Catch 

Upon responding to the babysitting job ad, the scam victim was mailed a $2,000 upfront payment for services, but was asked to cash the check and wire the funds to an alternate account. It wasn’t until after the sitter cashed and wired the funds that she realized the check was fake and she was on the hook for the $2,000 payment.

Mystery Shopping Scam

The Con 

Thanks to the experience of one telecommute job seeker, the potential scam victim in this mystery shopping case was able to thwart the con artist’s scheme.

A report from NBC Connecticut recounts the story of Cathy DeSimone, an experienced mystery shopper who completes mystery shopping assignments to earn spending money. DeSimone, who is used to mystery shopping assignments with payouts of up to $30, was curious about a mystery shopping assignment with a $250 payout.

The Catch

Curiosity did not kill this cat! DeSimone noticed the first red flag signaling an online job scam when she learned of the high dollar payout of the mystery assignment. However, her scam suspicions were confirmed when the company sent DeSimone a Priority Mail envelope containing a $2,800 check and instructions to keep her $250 mystery shopping fee and mail the remainder to the company through MoneyGram.

6 Tips for Avoiding Online Job Scams 

1.) Do Your Research

Never assume that a company or job offer is legitimate simply because it claims to be. Research the company you want to work for to verify their business credentials, contact information, and credibility. If a reverse search of the employer’s name, address, email or phone number leads you to a dead end, then it’s best to back out of the alley while you still can.

2.) Avoid Pay Traps

Whether an employer tries to bait you with the promise of high hourly wages or a company wants you to invest in its business, pay traps can be telecommuting quicksand. Beware pay-related red flags like “EARN $100/HOUR!!!!” or “PAY A ONE-TIME FEE OF $99.95 TO RECEIVE YOUR KIT!” Remember that work-at-home wages are comparable to those provided for on-site, office employment, and as with traditional employment, you would not pay to work.

online job scams

3.) Safeguard Your Personal Information

Avoid companies that are too eager to gain access to your personal information. Think about past experiences you have had when applying for non-telecommute jobs: an employer doesn’t typically ask for personal information like your social security number, bank account information, or driver’s license number until you have received and accepted a formal job offer. Sensitive personal information is often used to run a credit or background check, establish direct deposit arrangements, and complete tax documents. It is never needed to apply to a job.

4.) CONsider the Source

The old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” should not be followed when looking for at-home employment. Often, the professional appearance (or lack thereof) of a company’s job ad or website can be a glaring neon sign lighting the way to Scam City. Turn and run if you notice any of the following job search scam signs:

  • Unsolicited job ads in your inbox or calls made to your mobile number
  • Glaring typographical and grammatical errors in the text of the ad
  • Speaking of neon signs – avoid ads that contain blinking, glittering graphics and formatting circa your 2005 MySpace profile
5.) Go with Your Gut

Sometimes the obvious solution is the best one. Your instincts would prevent you from getting into a car with a stranger driving a panel van and waving a bag of candy at you, so channel these same gut reactions while cruising the web for online jobs. You will never be led astray if you follow this idiom with our own personal spin: “If it seems too good to be true, then it’s not the telecommute job for you!”

6.) Use Virtual Vocations 

To keep yourself safe from scams, utilize Virtual Vocations services and resources including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Telecommute Jobs Database filled with more than 13,000 human-screened job leads that have been vetted to ensure they are real, paying opportunities from employers offering hourly, salary, or contract wages
  • FREE Telecommute Company Database filled with more than 700 telecommute-friendly company profiles so that you can research legitimate employers known to hire qualified candidates to work from home
  • FREE tips and insider information on how to Avoid Scams, courtesy of our Blog

Have you been solicited by a con artist peddling one of these online job scams? Share your answer when you connect with Virtual Vocations on FacebookTwitter, Google+, and Pinterest. We’d love to hear from you! 

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VVlogoJoining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.

Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.

work-at-home scams

How Work-at-Home Scams Lure Job Seekers

The number of professionals who telecommute increased by 6.5% from 2013 to 2014, contributing to a collective 103% growth in the number of telecommuters since 2005, according to Global Workplace Analytics.

While the consistent annual rise of remote work opportunities is excellent news for job seekers who want to take advantage of the job flexibility telecommuting offers, it also entices identity thieves and other criminals to set traps for honest telecommute job seekers who conduct online searches for home-based job leads.

You can fortify your virtual job search against fraud using our research into the ploys work-at-home scams utilize to ensnare telecommute job seekers. Guard yourself against the following scam tactics:

Clickbait

Online job advertisements and unsolicited work offer emails containing eye-catching lines like “You’ll NEVER believe this work-at-home job!” or “Want to work from home in your pajamas?” should raise a red flag.

These sensational phrases are meant to rope you into clicking an associated URL that will then install a virus onto your computer or send you to a bogus job application web page that asks for your name, address, social security, number, bank account information, and other sensitive personal details that can be used to clone your identity or open credit card accounts in your name.

work-at-home scams

Promises of Big Payouts for Little Work 

This tactic is a shining example of the adage if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You may want to “Make THOUSANDS of dollars a day without lifting a finger!” but you’re more likely to get struck by lighting while nursing a shark bite.

Telecommute jobs aren’t magical methods for getting rich quick; they are the same jobs as those found onsite in a traditional office building, except telecommute jobs allow remote employees and Independent Contractors to work from home, a co-working center, or another non-centralized location. Legitimate telecommuters are project managers, teachers, nurses, and IT analysts, not typists, reshippers, craft assemblers, and email processors.

Are you curious about the amount of real pay you can receive as a telecommuter? We surveyed more than 1,600 telecommuters and telecommute job seekers and learned over 30% of respondents earn upwards of $71,000 a year. Discover additional insights into telecommuting trends and telecommuter demographics in our 2015 Year-End Report.

work-at-home scams

Masking Contact Information

Work-at-home job scammers know that telecommute job seekers do their due diligence when searching for work online; that’s why they make every effort to mask their contact information, even going so far as to steal the company names and logos of reputable telecommute-friendly companies to establish dummy domains that throw off even the most astute web researchers.

We’ve made it more convenient for telecommute job seekers to research and connect with legitimate employers that value remote work.

  • Access our free Telecommute Companies Database which features profiles of more than 500 employers known to hire telecommuters in dozens of industries. We provide you with essential employer details like their headquarters location, website URL, and RSS feed of their blog or latest news, as well as links to the company’s Wikipedia page, Better Business Bureau profile, and pages on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
  • Read our Friday Employer Alert Blog posts featuring free telecommuting job leads submitted to us that week by the employers themselves!

Conduct a Safe Work-at-Home Job Search at Virtual Vocations 

If you want to work from home, save yourself the time and hassle of an exhaustive online job search and look to the Virtual Vocations Telecommute Jobs Database for human-screened job leads free from commission-only pay, start-your-own-business opportunities, and work-at-home scams. During 2015 alone our highly trained Job Quality Specialists approved more than 100,000 telecommute job postings—a testament to the consistent supply and demand for remote work.

Have you been targeted in a work-at-home scam attempt? Share your answer when you connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. We’d love to hear from you! 

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VVlogoJoining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.

Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.

remote jobs

6 Remote Jobs That Are Lumps of Coal

No matter how hard you try, you can’t make diamonds out of dead-end remote jobs.

This holiday season, don’t apply to fake work-at-home opportunities from job scammers on Santa’s Naughty List. Instead, utilize Virtual Vocations’ Nice List of more than 500 new home-based work leads added daily to our Telecommute Jobs Database and avoid these six remote jobs that are lumps of coal:

Online Seller

The scheme: Congratulations! Your new employer has offered to build and host a website for you that will feature home goods for sale. All you have to do is pay a set-up fee to jump start the website creation and then encourage others to visit your site. Each time someone buys a product from your website, you collect commission.

The reality: Instead of becoming the curator of a popular online retail site, you become the victim of a con artist who splits after you make your set-up fee payment.

The legitimate alternative: You can work from home in a similar job, but let’s ensure its a legitimate one. Browse our database for authentic jobs in sales, marketing, and Internet and eCommerce.

Typist

The schemeIt’s the best job offer you’ve ever received: you can make hundreds of dollars a day typing on your home computer…as long as you pay to test your typing skills beforehand.

The reality: Work-at-home typing jobs are arguably the kings of telecommuting con games. What could be better than getting paid to type lines of information into your computer while you watch your kids play or catch-up on the latest episode of Scandal? But that’s why this scam works time and again: it’s too good of an offer to pass up, but it’s also too good to be true.

The legitimate alternatives: Believe it or not, data entry is a legitimate telecommute profession! Apply to the legitimate data entry leads in our database, as well as explore other telecommute work in transcription.

Re-shipper

The schemeFrom the comfort of your own home, you receive goods by mail that you then repackage and ship to a new address. Most often, you are mailed a check for more than the cost of reshipping the items and told to deposit the check into your bank account and wire the remainder to a new account.

The reality: The outcome of this work from home job scam has one of two results, neither of which are positive: 

  1. The items you are asked to reship are stolen goods that you could be prosecuted against for forwarding to a new, and usually foreign, address.
  2. The check you are asked to deposit bounces, but you have already sent the over-payment remainder to the new bank account. You’ll never see that money again.

The legitimate alternatives: Find real, paying at-home work in a career category like project management or quality assurance.

Envelope Stuffer

The scheme: Pay a one-time start-up fee to your new employer and you will be reimbursed up to $10.00 for every envelope you stuff with marketing materials and mail from your local post office.

The reality: Although this is one of the oldest telecommute job scams in the books, innocent job seekers still fall victim to this con because of the promise of fast, easy money. However, all the scammer wants is the money you front for his fake start-up fee.

The legitimate alternatives: Are you skilled in office management? Consider working remotely in administration or business operations.

At-Home Assembly Worker

The schemeWith your purchase of a start-up kit, you can make easy money from home by putting together toys, craft projects, marketing items, and other gifts.

The reality: This job scam is meant to con you out of the cost of the start-up kit. Once your payment has cleared, you never receive any items for assembly.

The legitimate alternatives: If you enjoy working with retail products, try a telecommute career in merchandising or product management.

Medical Biller

The scheme: After paying for training materials, software, and a list of healthcare provider leads, you’re “guaranteed” to make hundreds or thousands of dollars each week as a work-at-home Medical Biller who processes overflow insurance claims for doctors.

The reality: Those training sessions you paid for never happen and your list of leads is as worthless as a bottomless boat. You’re out more money than you could afford to lose.

The legitimate alternatives:  Explore work-at-home jobs in medical coding, insurance, and healthcare.

Expert Tips for Spotting Online Job Scams

As a registered Virtual Vocations member you can complete your telecommute job search with the peace of mind that every remote job posting added to our Telecommute Jobs Database has undergone a multi-level screening process conducted by our trained staff of Researchers, Job Summary Writers, and Auditors. We weed out the lumps of coal from your job search stocking and treat you to current, scam-free telecommute job openings in more than 40 categories with compensation as good as, or better than, on-site work in the same career industries.

You can take additional steps to avoid job scams by following our expert advice:

Look Out for Overstated Claims of Legitimacy

Don’t allow your doubts about the legitimacy of a work-at-home job to be overshadowed by the employer’s exaggerated claims of genuineness. Sometimes over-emphasizing validity is proof positive that an online job is bogus. After all, when’s the last time you saw a job ad from a reputable employer, like UnitedHealth Group, Lionbridge Technologies, Inc., or McGraw-Hill Education, that stated, restated, and overstated that it’s a real job opportunity?

BewareAds Stating That No Qualifications Are Needed

We challenge you to think of one on-site job you’ve applied for when you weren’t required to possess particular skills or qualifications befitting the responsibilities of the job. True at-home opportunities will insist that you are as highly experienced as traditional, on-site employees, in addition to being self-motivated and able to work independently.

It is important to note that “No Qualifications Needed” jobs are different from “No Experience Required” jobs. Some work from home jobs, like those in transcription, data entry, or customer service, may not require interested applicants to possess previous work experience in a similar role, because they provide paid training and a trial work period to new hires.

Get Familiar with Work-at-Home Scam Buzzwords

Online job scams are often peppered with flashy buzz words meant to lure job seekers into telecommute traps. While searching for virtual employment, keep an eye out for claims and catchphrases that are either vague or outlandish, like the following:

  • Home workers needed
  • Kit required
  • Minimal start-up costs
  • Guaranteed income
  • Work in your pajamas
  • Easy work, big pay
  • Start your own home business
  • Get paid to type
  • Do nothing, make money
Guard Yourself Against ID Requests

Never agree to send a potential employer a scanned copy of your driver’s license, social security card, university ID, or any other form of personal identification; it’s a classic case of reverse psychology. In order to deflect job applicants from questioning their authenticity, scammers will ask you for proof that you are who you claim to be. Demanding to see your personal identification cards is the mark of a true identity thief, not a true online employer.

Have you ever been tempted to apply to one of these job scams? Share your answer when you connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. We’d love to hear from you! 

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VVlogoJoining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.

Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.

Register for free or contact us for more information on our service guarantee. We look forward to hearing from you!

telecommute jobs in healthcare

High-Paying Holiday Job Scam Alert!

Job seekers, don’t get tangled up in this holiday job scam discovered by the Better Business Bureau! 

As the holidays approach, companies are boosting their teams with temporary employees and Independent Contractors to meet the increased need for goods and services. If you plan on taking advantage of this hiring boom by applying to telecommute job openings with companies recruiting seasonal workers, take heed of the BBB’s warning about high-paying holiday job scams.

The Con

Much to your delight, an email from the HR department of a big-name retailer has found its way into your inbox. The email details the exciting news that the company’s recruiting holiday hires for temporary assignments offering an impressive hourly rate.

The icing on the cake is that you don’t even have to make any real effort to apply! You simply have to follow an application link attached to the bottom of the email. Easy peasy.

The Catch

According to the BBB, the recruitment email isn’t from a reputable employer – or an employer at all. Instead of originating with a big-name U.S. corporation, the email came from a scam artist operating out of a foreign country.

The Consequences

Clicking the job application link provided in the email will most likely implant malware into your home computer or mobile device. Proceeding with the job application will mean you are providing your security sensitive personal information, like your proper name, address, birth date and social security number, to con artists bent on assuming your identity.

Quick Tips for Avoiding Telecommute Job Scams During the Holidays

If a telecommute job is on your holiday wish list but you aren’t confident in your ability to identify a work-at-home job scam, utilize this acrostic checklist when you’re in DOUBT about a telecommute job posting:

  • Double pay should equal double suspicion – A telecommute job isn’t the golden ticket to getting rich quick. The hourly, salary, or project-based pay for a work-at-home job is comparable to what an onsite employee would receive; therefore, you should be wary of remote job descriptions that promise wages much higher than what is standard for that particular job. If you aren’t familiar with the traditional compensation rate of a job you’re interested in, research its median wages on a website like PayScale.com.
  • Offers without interviews are rare – An important step in the hiring process, job interviews are designed to allow employers and hiring managers to not only more thoroughly vet applicant credentials, but also gauge whether or not potential hires will mesh well with established company culture. Receiving a telecommute job offer without completing a formal job interview, or at minimum speaking with the employer or hiring manager over the phone, is rare and needs to be met with caution.
  • Use common sense – Although it seems obvious, trusting your gut isn’t always a natural reaction to a telecommute job advertisement that appeals to your immediate need to earn money. However, the adage “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” is never more aptly applied than to a work from home job offer. Telecommute job postings that boast of high pay for little work, are filled with typographical and grammatical errors, or request your bank account or other sensitive personal information should raise a red flag.
  • Beware broad job titles – Fake work-at-home job ads are notorious for their generic job titles that aren’t found within any legitimate industry. Job titles like At-Home Typist or Online Email Processor that don’t provide a reasonable indication as to the specifics of the role give the impression that these jobs require minimal to no professional experience or higher education and are used to lure innocent job seekers into identity and monetary scams.
  • Take advantage of Virtual Vocations’ free resources – Helping our members and subscribers locate scam-free ways to work from home is one of the core goals of Virtual Vocations. To support this mission, we offer a variety of free resources to telecommute job seekers including a Telecommute Companies Database where anyone can research reputable employers known to hire telecommuters, an entire section of our Telecommute Blog devoted to helping you Avoid Scams, and Friday Employer Alert articles that feature free telecommute job leads submitted to us directly by the employers.

Have you noticed any suspicious holiday job ads? Leave a comment below to let us know and don’t forget connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. We’d love to hear from you!

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VVlogoJoining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.

Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.

Register for free or contact us for more information on our service guarantee. We look forward to hearing from you!

job interview scam

Instant Message Job Interview Scam

A new job interview scam conducted over instant messenger targets job seekers interested in working from home.

In its latest online jobs scam alert, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) cautions job seekers about online job ads that require candidates to complete an interview over an instant messaging program. Falling for this employment con could result in lasting negative effects for your personal and professional life.

The Con

When searching the web for work-at-home job opportunities, you may come across an ad from a “recruiter” working on behalf of the company. When you research the company to verify its legitimacy, you’re pleasantly surprised to find a well-made company website for an employer with a seemingly upstanding reputation. You are excited about the possibility of working from home for a top company, so you forward your resume to the recruiter for review. You’re immediately asked to participate in a job interview via an instant messaging program. Your streak of great luck continues – you ace the interview and are offered the job!

The Catch

Everything is fake. From the recruiter to the job offer, none of it is legit. How could this happen when your online research of the employer returned positive results?

The scammers stole the logo, website, and contact information of an actual reputable employer. The entire rouse is an identity theft scam meant to rob you of sensitive personal information like your name, mailing or physical address, email address, phone number, and work history.

The Consequences

According to a report filed with the BBB, the duties of this fake online job involve criminal activity. The scammers convince virtual job seekers to transfer stolen goods or money to foreign entities, which is similar to another popular work-at-home con: The Reshipping Scam. Innocent as your intentions were, your involvement in these criminal activities could lead to your prosecution.

How Virtual Vocations Helps You Avoid Online Job Scams

In addition to being the most comprehensive source of telecommute job postings on the web, we’re committed to helping you avoid scams during your at-home job search in the following ways:

  • We verify the legitimacy of all job offers posted to our site. Every telecommute job opening in our Telecommute Jobs Database is reviewed by several different people before its posted. Our goal is to make sure all job postings on our site are real positions from real employers, offering real pay.
  • We do not post fee-based, solely commission-based, low paying jobs, or “start your own business” opportunities that have unrealistic performance expectations and grandiose promises of future income without paying out a dime for your hard work.
  • We believe people should be paid a fair wage for the work they perform, which is why Virtual Vocations only lists jobs from established businesses in need of full-time or part-time employees or 1099 Independent Contractors.
  • We research and alert job seekers to the latest work-at-home job scams via our Telecommute Blog.
Tips for Successfully Navigating a Legitimate Virtual Interview

After you apply to a legitimate telecommute job from our database and receive an offer for a virtual interview utilize our tips for successfully navigating it:

  • Don’t seem too available – Even if you are desperate for a job, don’t let future employers see that. If the employer thinks you are in high demand and are being courted by multiple companies, you could negotiate for yourself a better compensation and benefits package.
  • Be prepared – Get to know your employer before your interview. Our Company Database is a free resource for job seekers that offers hundreds of company profiles containing valuable information about employers that regularly hire telecommuters.
  • Dress for the occasion – Will your virtual interview be completed via Skype or a Google Hangout? You don’t have to put on traditional business attire, but change out of your pajamas and don an outfit that boosts your confidence.
  • Remove background noise – Avoid conducting your virtual interview in a location within earshot of noisy neighbors, barking dogs, or playing children. This is point is especially important if the work-at-home job you want will require you to make or receive phone calls in a distraction-free work environment.
  • Troubleshoot your equipment – Video chat with a friend as a test run of your virtual interview. Use this time to work out any kinks in your computer or video conferencing software. You’ll also want to ensure your laptop is fully charged and that any standout items or personal artwork have been removed from your background.

Are you ready to embark on a fast, easy and, most importantly, safe telecommute job search? Register for your FREE Virtual Vocations account today and take the first step toward finding a scam-free work-at-home job.

Are you looking for a seasonal work-at-home job? Leave a comment below to let us know and don’t forget connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. We’d love to hear from you!

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VVlogoJoining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.

Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.

Register for free or contact us for more information on our service guarantee. We look forward to hearing from you!

reshipping scam

BEWARE: Work at Home Reshipping Scam!

Reshipping scam targets job seekers looking for part-time work from home jobs

On September 8, 2015 a reshipping scam victim contacted the Chicago Tribune‘s Help Squad with a plea for security checks on a work-at-home reshipping job offer he accepted.

The Con

The victim—”Nathan” of Holly, Michigan—received a “distribution center at-home” job offer via email from a company called Logistics International Forwarding. Nathan’s job description included “…receiving packages, taking digital photos of their contents, printing address labels and sending the packages to addresses provided by the company.”

The Catch

After Nathan and his wife could no longer ignore their suspicions about this job offer and the materials he’d be required to receive by mail, the couple repeatedly phoned the employer’s 1-800 number but were rerouted to a variety of extensions and were inevitably disconnected. When Nathan finally reached an answering service for Logistics International Forwarding, he left messages about his concerns regarding his reshipping job; his calls were never returned.

The Consequences

Thankfully, Nathan contacted the Chicago Tribune‘s Help Squad, which investigates and reports on fraudulent business practices, before he reshipped any packages. Most often, items mailed by criminals as part of a reshipment scam include merchandise purchased with stolen credit cards or counterfeit money orders. The fraudsters want at-home reshippers to forward these “hot” packages to foreign addresses, thereby making criminal accomplices of otherwise innocent work-at-home independent reshippers.

How You Can Avoid Reshipping Scams

Reshipping fraud is diligently monitored and investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service—the federal law enforcement and security extension of the U.S. Postal Service. As such, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service offers these tips to protect telecommute job seekers from falling victim to reshipping scams and other mail fraud:

  1. Beware work-at-home job advertisements containing the following words and phrases:
    • Reship
    • Merchandising Manager
    • Package Processing Assistant
    • No experience required
    • Money order
    • Wire
    • Forward
  2. Never wire money to a stranger
  3. Ensure money orders and checks are genuine before you deposit them into your bank account
  4. Don’t accept packages that you didn’t mail originally that have now been sent back with a “Return to Sender by Postal Inspectors” label on them
  5. Report mail fraud by filing a complaint with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service or calling their hotline at 1-877-876-2455 (option 4, “Mail Fraud”)
Where You Can Find Legitimate At-Home Job Opportunities

Like so many other work-at-home job seekers, the reshipping victim in this story had been searching for part-time employment to supplement his income. But your story doesn’t have to follow the same plot line. You can find 10,000 human-screened, verified telecommute job postings in more than 70 career categories within Virtual Vocations’ Telecommute Jobs Database.

Our highly trained, 100% remote staff puts each of the telecommute job postings we host through a multi-step screening process to confirm that each job listing is a current vacancy from a real employer. All employers must provide industry standard hourly, salary, or project-based pay and allow hirees to work from home at least some of the time.

You can start your safe, scam-free work-at-home job search with Virtual Vocations today if you register for a FREE account using your name and email address.

Have you been approached about a work-at-home reshipping job? Tell us your story in a comment below and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest

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VVlogoJoining Virtual Vocations grants you access to our hand-picked telecommuting jobs database. Our family-owned company is committed to helping you find quality job leads. We strive to help make your work-at-home job search faster, easier and safer by bringing you scam-free jobs that offer some form of telecommuting or virtual work.

Learn how our service works, browse job leads by location and career category, or search hundreds of hand-screened telecommuting jobs to find legitimate work-at-home job leads that match your skills and background.

Register for free or contact us for more information on our service guarantee. We look forward to hearing from you!