(Safely) Search For A Job Online
The Internet has been a boon to people looking for jobs. It also has its drawbacks. Because it is increasingly easier to set up a website and look like a legitimate business, there are also frauds and scams rampant online. It's hard enough looking for a job without having to face scam artists as well.
The first way to avoid a scam is an easy one: don't apply for a job that requires a hefty sum upfront. This is often the case with work at home opportunities. These jobs promise $500 a day! Guaranteed! when in fact they guarantee nothing of the sort. What normally happens is that the employee must purchase instructional materials upfront which tell you nothing that isn't already readily available online. This is pretty simple scam but it's a common.
A more elusive scam is one where you complete a fair amount of work for a business and then never get paid. This is a much more difficult scam to spot because you won't know it's in effect until payday. To avoid this scam, you need to make absolutely certain of the business's legitimacy. If your employer does not have a long-term business model, this should be a clear signal.
This scam is not always the case with telecommuting work, but with brick and mortar jobs as well. For telecommuting work, it is important to sign a contract ahead of time in which there is a clear demarcation of a pay schedule. Always read the fine print on a contract. Something that says employees will not be paid until the business turns a profit is another signal. This can mean months or even years.
Never give your bank account number or Paypal information for direct deposit unless you are absolutely sure that the company is legitimate. If you are unsure about a company's legitimacy, ask to be paid by check. You can check the Better Business Bureau to see if a particular business, or employer, is on a watch list.
Using job search engines poses a particular risk. Scammers post fake job listings for the purpose of identity theft. In a false job application, it will ask for your social security number, bank information, credit card information, and other sensitive information, such as number of children or marital status. None of these are necessary for applying for a job so be wary of a job that asks for this type of information.
Because of the anonymity of the Internet, it can be difficult to weed out these scams. A business can look perfectly legitimate online when in fact it is a front for fraudulent purposes. Basically, what it comes down to is this: if it looks too good to be true, it usually is. A job that promises a lot of money for little work is probably not on the up and up. These job listings are trying to catch people at their most vulnerable: desperate for work and willing to try anything. By and large, the Internet is a safe place for job hunting, but you should exercise caution.