Common Jobs Scams You Should Avoid

Common Jobs Scams You Should Avoid

The internet is an amazing resource for job seekers. However, job hunting online isn’t as easy as it seems. As you look for the perfect job, you could come across a scam. To avoid being the victim of an employment scam, you should take a few precautions. Learn more about the most common job scams and red flags, and you can safely continue the job search.

Repackaging Scam

The repackaging scam has been around for years, but it’s still quite common. Typically, this scam comes in the form of someone asking you to receive a package, put it in a different box, and ship it somewhere else. While this may seem innocent enough, this scam could leave you dealing with law enforcement.

Why is this such a dangerous scam? The person asking you to repackage an item is probably asking you to ship something that’s been stolen or illegal. Even though you may have been unaware of your actions, you could be guilty by association. Simply having an illegal or stolen item in your home could result in you facing criminal charges.

Recently, these scams are more creative than they used to be. They might be listed as gift-wrapping jobs. If you see a job listing that asks you to repack items in your own home, you should flag the job and move on to another one.

Money Laundering

You probably won’t see a job that says “Seeking Money Launderer Wanted.” However, that doesn’t mean you haven’t applied for a money-laundering job. At first, the job might seem legitimate. But before you're hired, someone might ask you for your banking details. Then, they'll send you money and will ask you to send it to someone else.

In a way, you become the money launderer. Although you may not realize it, you're helping someone hide their tracks and hide the money they obtained illegally. They won't admit to it for obvious reasons, but your new "employer" could make you an accomplice in an illegal activity.

There's another variation of this scam. Instead of asking you to send the money to someone else, they might just send you a check for too much money. After you receive it, the employer asks you to mail back a check for the difference. Unfortunately, their check bounces, and they cash your check for their own payday.

Call Center

Some call centers are legitimate. But others are not and could result in a jail sentence. After you receive a job offer at a call center, research the company and pay attention to the sales script. Does the product seem too good to be true, or does it seem as if you’re preying on individuals? If so, you’re working for a scammer.

These call center scams come in many forms. At times, they take advantage of the elderly and require you to trick them into signing up for a service they don’t need or want. Some rely on scare tactics while others rely on products that don’t work. Oftentimes, these scams steal identities and money. Whatever the scam may be, you’re involved in it. You could be the one who ends up in court.

Data Entry

When a job seems too good to be true, it probably is. This is usually the case with data entry jobs that boast incredibly high hourly rates. If a job listing for an entry-level job has a salary of $20 or higher, it’s probably a scam. Why would a company pay so well for a job that someone would do for much less? Generally, these scams end up with you working for free. The employer might have you work for two weeks and then never pay you, or they could try to charge you an equipment fee for equipment that you never receive.

With that said, there are legitimate data entry jobs out there. They tend to pay lower hourly rates, so take that into consideration as you search for work. If you research the employer and they have a website and reviews, it’s probably legitimate.

Pyramid Scheme

Although pyramid schemes are common, they’re still very much illegal. A pyramid scheme may or may not involve a product, and it involves the exchange of money. In these schemes, you give money to someone else and they take you through their program. When you’re done with the program, the only way to make money is for you to find other people to pay you and to complete the same training.

It can be difficult to spot pyramid schemes because they sometimes masquerade as sales jobs or investing programs. If you see a job listing that appeals to you, do a quick online search for the company’s name combined with “pyramid scheme.”

Equipment or Training Fee Scam

This is yet another scam that ends with you losing money and not making it. If a company asks you to send them money for equipment or training, they’re probably trying to scam you. While there are some legitimate companies that require you to buy training or equipment, they’re not common.

These scams are easy to spot because the company hires you without an interview. If you apply for a job online and have a job offer within minutes, the company is a scam. No matter how desperate an employer may be, they’ll still go through a hiring process before onboarding you. Be extremely wary of any job that hires you immediately.

Other Red Flags to Watch Out For

In addition to looking out for the scams above, you should also pay attention to other red flags. If an employer asks for your credit card or bank information, they could be scamming you. Never offer up your information before you thoroughly research a company. And if a company has a chat agent that hires you on the spot, they’re not legitimate.

Likewise, a company that has no website or social media presence is probably a scam. One of the best ways to avoid being a victim of a scam is to do your research. More importantly, limit your job search to reputable job search platforms.

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