Virtual offices have become more popular with the increase in internet access, there are exponentially more people looking for work or extra cash. They are becoming increasingly vulnerable to work from home scams and get rich quick schemes. When trends like these emerge, new scams surface to take advantage of people – trying to rob you while you’re just trying to make a living. You might think you’re smart enough to detect obvious scams and ignore them, but scammers have mastered the manipulation techniques.

 

Knowing specific scams is a start, but how can you stay ahead of innovative criminals? A lousy job market creates an endless supply of targets for scammers since so many people are struggling to earn an honest living. They know exactly how to manipulate you to get your money. Below we have compiled several job descriptions that are almost always signs of fraud. 

Data Entry

While there are plenty of legitimate data entry jobs, there are also a lot of dishonest employers who exist only to scam work-from-homers out of thousands of dollars. They’ll post a job for data processors who can work from home. When an applicant contacts them, they put them through an interview and make a job offer. But will require the applicant to service fee or buy specific software in order to do the job required. This is where the scammers will get credit card details and start billing on a monthly basis instead of once.

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Email Forwarding

This scam puts a new spin on the old envelope-stuffing scheme, which surprisingly still finds victims today. You will get a job offer to make money by forwarding emails on behalf of a company. On the surface, it will look like an easy marketing job or entry-level position in online database management. 

 

The “company” informs you that to get started, you just need to pay a fee for software that you will need. Once the scammers have the cash, however, they’ll either never send the materials, or even worse, the “material” they send is just a letter that tells you how to run the same scam on other potential victims.

Vishing

Vishing is the combination of “Voice” & “Phishing”. This happens when scammers pretend to be somebody from the bank and get your private information through telephonic manipulation. They will pretend that they are phoning to just confirm your details or to let you know they’ve detected something wrong with an account. This also happens when someone calls you and convinces you to open “anydesk” or “team viewer” or other types of remote control access and gets you to put your login details to online banking, then takes over and sends money from your account to theirs. 



Incoming Jobs

Especially when the job market is in a downtrend, the “You’ve got a job!” scam also gains traction. In this one, the unsuspecting victim receives an email with the good news that a job offer awaits them at a certain website that has more information. Following the link, they see instructions to enter their mailing address and other personal information for permission to see if jobs are still available.

 

This how they scam you, in order to claim the job, they’ll need you to provide more personal information, including valid credit card data. “Why do I need to provide a potential employer with my credit card number?” a desperate job seeker may ask. And the scammers have an answer: For job training of course! This particular (mandatory) training will cost, maybe, $200, and the job starts after the successful completion of training. In the end, there’s no training, no job, and the victim gave up $200 – and a credit card number.



Package Forwarding

A person will use a stolen credit card (as many identity theft victim stories begin) and use it to purchase goods. The scammer knows that they can’t ship the goods to their own address, so they set up phony ads on Craigslist or other online boards promising payment for forwarding packages, often under the guise of an overstocked business.

 

The scam victims then receive the package, along with instructions on where to send the package next. After re-mailing the stolen goods – with your own money – you’ll supposedly get a check for your services. Sometimes payment comes, and sometimes it doesn’t. The next visitor to your door is usually the police, wanting to know why you received stolen goods.

Online Trading

These types of scam sites prey on people looking for work from home, while you are searching for work from home jobs, you might see ads at the top in the google results or on Facebook and Youtube, in most cases, these are paid ads and is a very insidious way of drawing attention to their websites. 

 

They will offer you an easy way to make money in your spare time using automated software, which is actually fake and while it may look professional and legitimate, they are 100% fake. They will offer tutorials as part of the initial fee with the software, so be very wary of these sites and in reality, trading should be left to the professionals.

Work in Crafts

This is another scam that has been around so long it’s a wonder that it still gets victims at all. But it does, and people are still losing thousands of dollars to it. Scammers start by advertising online or in print media, announcing a search for workers who can assemble crafts or other items for them. They promise payment on a per-piece basis, saying that they only accept high-quality goods and that workers will have to purchase top-notch sewing machines and other equipment only from them. 

 

Alternatively, some advanced scam craft sites, knowing that people may be wise to the scam, will go so far as to send some cheap equipment out. In this long term con, they will reject all of the crafts the victims send on the grounds that the products don’t meet their standards. Duped, the would-be craft workers never see a dime and may not even realize they’ve been actually been scammed.

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