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Remote work scams

8 ways to prevent remote work scams

In recent times, the rise of remote work has opened up new opportunities for people seeking to benefit from this way of life. However, this shift in work dynamics also means that the amount of remote work scams is rising. Just like with anything online, there are people looking to exploit people who are not familiar with some of the scams that are present online. Yes, it is possible to secure a REAL remote job but you also have to be cautious. In this blog post, I’ll talk about the main remote work scams happening online and help you identify these.

Before we begin, I don’t want you to feel threatened or overwhelmed by this information. Once you have gone through this article you’ll realize how most of these points are simple common sense. We know how to take care of our credit cards and sensitive data. If you’re looking to work an online job, knowing about remote work scams is no different. Let’s dive into it.

Never pay for anything

There is no reason why you should pay for anything. YOU are the one who should be getting paid – not the other way around. Once you pay for something, they’ll disappear. Here are some ways in which scammers try to get online payment information from you:

  • Equipment: the job position should be clear about whether you’ll be using theirs or if you’ll be sent equipment. You should pay nothing to receive equipment, not even shipping.
  • Applications: there is no reason why you should pay to apply for a job. It’s that simple. If a platform is asking you to pay, stay away.
  • Background check: in some positions, a background check is necessary. If needed, go online and get that paperwork yourself through a reputable company. Have it ready for your next interview.
  • Courses or training: nowadays, most jobs offer paid training and courses as part of their onboarding. Unless you’re applying for a specific position that requires you to have a certificate before working (like an accountant or a real estate agent), there should be no reason why you should pay for this.
Protect Your Personal Information

Be cautious when sharing personal information online. Legitimate employers will request your information through secure channels. Avoid providing sensitive details, such as Social Security numbers or bank account information, until you have verified the legitimacy of the employer. If someone asks for your personal details from the start, or even requesting them via text message, beware.

Beware of Too-Good-to-Be-True Offers

Scammers often lure victims with unrealistic promises of high salaries for minimal work. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. If someone is asking you to sign a contract with little to no effort from your side, reject it. Be cautious of job listings that promise really good earnings with minimal effort.

Verify Job Postings and Communication:

Ensure that job postings are legitimate by cross-referencing them on the company’s official website or reputable job search platforms. Additionally, be cautious of unsolicited emails or messages, and verify the legitimacy of the sender before providing any personal information. Something as simple as a Gmail address can give away a scammer. Unless you’re applying for an individual, your communication should be happening exclusively through a company email.


Beware of Phishing Links

This one is a tricky one. If anyone is asking you to download special software for a call or interview you should not do so. Even if you’re not applying for remote jobs, you should already have reliable antivirus software to scan downloads. Phishing is a common technique where scammers create fake websites or emails that are close to legitimate platforms. Always hover over links before clicking to preview the actual URL. Make sure that the web address matches the legitimate company’s domain.

Avoid Positions with Obvious Mistakes

Check job descriptions for clarity, professionalism, and coherence. Scammers often use vague language or poorly written content. Legitimate employers take the time to craft detailed and professional job listings. If you’re not being addressed properly and if there are a good number of spelling and grammatical mistakes, avoid the application.

Use Reputable Job Search Platforms (or not)

This one is one I know I should recommend but I have misgivings. If you want to be completely safe, by all means, only use reputable platforms. However, social media is a great way to find jobs nowadays. I give recommendations here on where to find remote jobs, and some of these platforms might not be that well-known. Facebook groups are a great way to find remote jobs. I freelance and my biggest client at the moment I found through Instagram. Yes, that’s not a joke. There are remote work scams everywhere, even on reputable platforms. Be smart, be cautious but also be open-minded.

Trust your instinct

If you’re in the middle of an application process and something feels off, don’t continue. You’ve made it to the interview process. The interviewer focuses on your personal details instead of your skills, experience and knowledge. This could potentially be a remote work scam.

Just like with everything online, it’s important to remain vigilant against potential remote work scams. By following these tips and staying informed, you can safeguard yourself from falling victim to these incidents. Like I said before, don’t let any of these warnings dissuade you from seeking a remote job. Working online can be a life changing experience. It has personally allowed me to have a better work-life balance, save more, travel the world and even spend more time with my friends and family. You can check out this article on how to become a digital nomad once you’ve secured a remote job. Best of luck!

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Hey there, and welcome to Go Global with Sibu! I’m a global citizen that has been living and traveling around the world since 2005 – all through budget travel, scholarships, study/work and living abroad opportunities.  I share everything I’ve learned over the years here – to prove to you that you don’t need money or privilege to enjoy everything that this world has to offer. 

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