For many years, moms have desperately searched for legitimate ways to earn money from home without having to put their children in daycare. While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of legitimate opportunities available, there are also a number of scam artists waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting newcomers.
It is so important in your remote work Look around to learn the red flags of a potential scam, while also learning what a legitimate opportunity looks like. In today’s post, we hope to help you with both!
Fake jobs from home: what to look out for
There are two main things scammers are looking for (1) your personal information that can be used to obtain credit (name, date of birth, address, social security number) and (2) direct access to your banking information.
Year after year, there are a few very common job scams Be careful with:
Maybe you’re old enough to remember envelope stuffing schemes. In this setup, you would often be required to pay a small up-front fee to obtain the mailing addresses of the people you would send a letter to. That letter usually enticed them to pay the same small fee to send the same letters to more people. This is what is called a pyramid scheme and it is highly illegal.
Technology has allowed the simplest schemes to become more complex and much more dangerous for victims. What we often see today is called “forwarding scams.” In this scenario, you may be hired as a shipping manager or even a gift wrapper. Products arrive at your doorstep, you repackage them and ship them to their final destination. The fraud? Often it involves fraudulent purchases using the victim’s credit card without knowing it. When the victim finds out and reports it, the police come to THEIR door. And the person who “hired” you probably used a fictitious name and address. They are never found and you have a lot to explain to the authorities.
check cashing scams
Perhaps the most common work-from-home scam is check cashing. Here a scammer will offer you a great job, most of the time with the best pay and hours you’ve ever heard of! They will also send you a check to “pay for your equipment”. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well it is.
What happens is that you receive a check, say for $1,500. You are supposed to cash it out, buy your equipment, and pay them back the remaining money. You do all of this, and then a few days later your bank tells you that the initial check has bounced. So now they take $1,500 out of your account, plus fees, to cover the bad check. He also paid for the equipment in the interim; Let’s say it’s another $700 from your bank account. And you returned the scammer $800 that was “subtracted” from the original check. You now have $3,000 plus bank charges. The scammer won $800 in free money and will never be found.
Another scam we see every day is the plain old phishing scam. This is nothing more than making you hand over your personal information. In most cases, the scammer is posing as a legitimate company offering you an interview. They often want you to jump into a chat platform like Facebook Messenger or Google Hangout, somewhere where it’s almost impossible for you to know who you’re chatting with or where they are.
During this chat session, you will be offered a fake job, but you have to provide your personal information NOW. They may want your banking information, Social Security number, date of birth, etc. This is something you would normally need to provide before starting a job, but it’s certainly NOT the way a legitimate company gets it.
If you ever feel pressured to do something that your spidey senses tell you is suspicious, step away from the conversation and take a breather. Contact the company posing as the potential scammer and ask for confirmation that you are actually speaking with them.
And remember. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers often choose the easiest jobs to target, often data entry work, as new job seekers are frequently looking for a stay-at-home job that doesn’t require you to be on the phone and allows you to work as long as your attention-demanding child allow it. They also count on you being so busy and distracted that your guard may be down.
Reliable job boards with legit jobs for work-at-home moms
Fortunately, there is no shortage of remote work opportunities to choose from these days. Knowing where to look to find them is probably your first hurdle. Some popular and legitimate online job boards include:
Even on the most reputable job boards, you should be on the lookout for the occasional scam. After all, with the exception of FlexJobs, most job boards don’t provide a thorough vetting process before an opportunity can be listed. It is up to you to do your due diligence.
Companies that offer work-at-home jobs that are perfect for moms
- Amazon occasionally hires home customer service representatives
- BELAY offers you the opportunity to become virtual assistant
- LiveOps Hires part time telecommuting customer service and sales agents
- TELUS International offers non-phone work, which can be a dream job for mom
- VIPKid has an online tutor position for those with a bachelor’s degree in any subject
- Williams-Sonoma Hires Seasonal Customer Service Representatives
- Working Solutions is another big name in the customer service industry.
- TTEC offers legitimate work worldwide
- LanguageLine Solutions could be a great work from home if you are bilingual
- TranscribeMe offers transcription jobs for those with a good ear and excellent typing skills.
- Pearson hires seasonal educational scorers
- CVS Health hires customer service representatives to work remotely
- Enterprise Holdings offers job seekers opportunities in customer service and sales
- Achieve Test Prep has remote work including customer service, appointment scheduling, online instructors, and more
myEven with the big company names mentioned above, you have to be diligent. Many scammers will pose as a legitimate company to capture the personal information of an eager job seeker. Make sure any correspondence you receive is from the company’s actual website, not a Gmail address, name spelled differently, etc.
Also see: Will my homeowners insurance cover working from home?
And if you get an offer for a job you never applied for, it’s best to click the delete button. So many people are looking for a work-at-home job that there’s really no reason for a business to have to reach people on its own. Scammers hope you’ll let your guard down if you’re flattered by an unexpected offer from a big company.
House rules to help make working from home easier
Once you find a legitimate job, it’s time to make sure it’s successful. This can be more difficult than it seems. Many newcomers find that working from home is actually more difficult than working in an office. You have many more distractions. A few little tips and tricks to help make working from home easier:
Establish regular work hours. If your children are home during the day, this could be after they go to bed or during regular naps or play dates.
lay down ground rules. Let those in your home and regular disruptors outside your home, such as family and friends, know when and how to get their attention if absolutely necessary.
Dedicate a space to work. This is where you can put all those things that other people shouldn’t touch or move. It’s also where you’ll know you can work without interruption.
Have a separate email and phone number for your work at home. Emails can spiral out of control in an instant if you have everything from online shopping to family and friends to work funneled into one bucket. Gmail addresses are free. Set up one that you only use for job applications and work-related correspondence. A landline phone that you can give away is not a bad idea either. It may even be necessary for your online work.
Disconnect. Just as it can be hard for your family to learn when you can’t be interrupted while you’re at work, you also need to train yourself not to be interrupted BY work when you’re with your family. The struggle for work-life balance is real when you work from home. It is imperative that you have time to unzip after working from home.
Finding the Right Stay at Home Job Makes It All Worth It
Finding a legitimate online job can be daunting at first. But the path to becoming a work-at-home parent is really worth it! Beware of scams and stick with them – you’re sure to find a position that suits your family’s needs.
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