5 Job scams, the warning signs | Spot red flags of a scammer

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Job scams are everywhere and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of them slowing down. If you’re a newbie freelancer, don’t fall victim to the scammers offering these amazing once-in-a-lifetime job opportunities. Here are the top 5 ways you can spot job scams instantly so you don’t waste your precious time.

  1. Being vague
  2. Poor grammar skills
  3. Requesting to take off the job board
  4. Unprofessional email address
  5. High pay for little work

Freelancers can avoid job scams by taking a really hard look at the job posted to them on the job board or sent to them by email. There are many warning signs that can be spotted if you take a closer look. These warning signs of job scams include vagueness, poor grammar, unprofessionalism, and offers that seem just too good to be true. Because when an offer is just too good to be true it normally is.

Vulnerable people and those that are completely new to freelancing or working from home can often be victim to scammers. Newbies to the remote working world think after they’ve posted their profile a few places, it’s normal to get approached straight off the back. If anything, it’s to be expected and a sign you’re doing something right. But if you want to get yourself one step ahead of the scammers, use these 5 red warning signs of job scams.

Being vague

Vagueness is a common problem on job boards. For example, if you do SEO you may come across a job that says want keywords put on our website. What you need is some more details, maybe a name of the website, or how many keywords they want.

So often on job boards, you’ll find posts with just a brief description of what they’re looking for. What your job at this stage is to investigate the client. To investigate the client, send a proposal showcasing your expertise with work done for previous clients, then asking about the client and specifics.

Don’t write off vagueness from a job board post, just investigate deeper. Only consider ignoring it if it’s a really vague email with a link. That link could be leading you to a virus or a job site where you’ve got to pay a monthly fee to learn how to do the job you want to do and are already skilled at. So whenever you’re emailed a link with a vague message, click the bin icon straight away.

Poor grammar skills

Poor grammar skills are truly a great sign of job scams. Now nobody writing a job advertisement on an email to you or job board is being required to be a wordsmith. But if the person writing the post for the job can’t even string a sentence together, this is a warning sign. Or they’re making basic grammar errors in the post then it’s a red flag of a scam.

So always read the job post carefully. If you’re left thinking an 11 year old can write better than that. Or even has better spelling. Then you’re looking at job scams being posted by that so-called employer.

Anybody that’s native English can write a proper job post without grammatical errors. Or if they’re not native English but have a business, then they can afford to pay someone to write the post for them. There are plenty of people willing to do that as a career option.

Requesting to take off the job board

This may sound innocent enough but beware of anyone requesting to continue the conversation of the job board. They lure you in by saying that you won’t have to pay the 20% fee. Sounds like a great offer, right? You do the job and you won’t be charged the fees for using the job board.

But when you take the job away from the job board you’re in a scary situation. You can end up doing the job and not getting paid a penny. The scammer gets your services for free.

With staying on a job board, you get peace of mind that you’ll be paid as the client has to part with money to buy your services. You just get paid when the job is done. Only take jobs away from the job board when you’ve built a rapport with the client and have that know, like, and trust that the client will pay you after the job is done.

So yes that 20% may sound a lot, but if it gives you peace of mind that you’ll get paid then it’s worth it.

Unprofessional email address

If a business or entrepreneur is using a Gmail address, then that’s a big warning sign of a job scam. Reading the email that’s landed in your inbox. They may sound genuine and you’re wanting to find out more. But hold up why on earth would a genuine business of any size be using a Gmail address and not an address linked to their business website.

All businesses need to have some sort of online presence. If they genuinely don’t need a website, they still need a form of professional communication with their clients and employees. To get a professional email address that’s linked to a business website, all they need to do is buy a cheap domain and then get an email address from that.

Sites such as Name Cheap and 123 Reg do this. The pricing alone is minimal, so it’s affordable for anyone even if they’re starting a business on a shoestring. Therefore, if you get an email landing in your inbox offering you a job opportunity, consider

  • Is there email address professional
  • Do they give details about who and what they’re looking for
  • Poor grammar

If the email you’ve received about this job offer and doesn’t even meet these basic standards in an email, there’s a red warning sign flashing. Research the sender thoroughly on Google and social media to see if you can find out more information.

High pay for little work

You’ve got an email and it says something like do basic admin duties for 15 hours a week and get paid £20k a month. This happens a lot. Especially as you publish your profiles on job boards.

Your probably seeing that email and thinking wow that was quick, I got headhunted straight off the back from my online profiles. Truth is, you got headhunted by a scammer.

Don’t take it personally and a reflection on you. We’ve all had them, it just seems to go with the territory of being a freelancer or virtual assistant. But just be wary of them and look into the job offer.

There’s usually an email address that seems to be associated with a large business. Look up the business and the jobs that they’re advertising. When a business has a job opening they advertise it on the website, is the business that’s offering it to you have the job advertised.

Also, look out for other potential errors like a slight misspelling on the email address the scammer is using. Has the person retired or left the business that you’re getting an email from. What is the recruitment process of the business?

Poke holes and look for reasons why it’s a scam before believing this too good to be true offer is real. Because usually when an offer is too good to be true, it usually is and a ploy to help them do money laundering activities.

In A Nutshell,

Job scams are everywhere you go online. They’re on job boards and going to your inbox. There just doesn’t seem to be any sign of them slowing down. Don’t fall victim to the scammers offering these amazing once-in-a-lifetime job opportunities. Using the 5 ways you can spot job scams instantly, you’ll save yourself precious time.

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