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[Article] Work at Home Scams

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MessagePosté le: Jeu 07 Fév 2008 5:17 am    Sujet du message: [Article] Work at Home Scams Répondre en citant

Work at Home Scams
Seven ways to spot a scam
By Anthony Balderrama, CareerBuilder.com writer

For many people, the idea of working from home is heaven on earth – or at least heaven in pajamas. Not having to stress about rush hour, dry cleaning and office politics is too good to resist.

Unfortunately, some crooked individuals know this and are ready to take advantage of eager workers.

Three scams to avoid
Spotting a scam isn’t something you’re taught in school, but it’s a skill every job seeker needs now that job searches take place mostly online. Anyone who’s looked for a job in the past few years can attest to the overwhelming amount of ads for work from home positions posted on job boards and sites. Many of these are legitimate businesses, but certain ones have a high chance of being fraudulent.

1. Assembling
Among the scams to be wary of are “work at home jobs assembling crafts or other things where you have to pay for the parts to assemble, and then get paid when the work is satisfactorily completed,” says Janet Attard of Business Know-How. “The gotcha: claims that you have not satisfactorily completed the work.”

2. Forwarding packages
When Manny Otiko was searching for freelance work in 2006, he ran across several job postings that sounded like simple ways to earn some money. He quickly learned otherwise.

“I remember one job in particular where they said that I would be forwarding packages and doing clerical work. I sent them my résumé and everything was going fine, until they requested my bank account information,” Otiko says. He knew better than to give personal information to a stranger and discontinued his correspondence with the company.

3. Envelope stuffing
Perhaps the most common scam you’ll encounter is envelope stuffing, says Doug Bem, national public information officer for the United States Postal Inspection Service.

“Typically, all you receive for your money are instructions to place an ad like the one you answered, which requires you to rip off your fellow citizens to make any money.” He reminds job seekers that home-based mailing services are uncommon these days due to modern mailing techniques and equipment, so the odds of that job posting being legitimate are low.

Spot a scam before you apply

You can detect a fraudulent job posting before you even submit your application, says Christine Durst of Staffcentrix, a training and development company that focuses on home-based work. She’s developed some tips:

1. “Work from home” is the name of the job listing. Scammers use this term to reel in candidates, but Durst reminds, “‘Work from home’ is not a job title.”

2. Experience and résumé optional. Most legitimate jobs require applicants to submit a résumé and possibly provide references. If the job posting doesn’t ask for either, be concerned. Why would any employer be willing to trust you to work from your home without being certain you’re right for the position?

3. You pay them. You’re the employee looking for a paycheck. If you had the money to hand out to strangers, you wouldn’t be looking for the job in the first place. So be wary of any company that charges a fee for processing an application or administering materials.

4. Make $3000 in one day! If anyone had a surefire path to making a five-figure paycheck each week, they probably wouldn’t be placing ads on a job site. Don’t be fooled by job postings that sound too good to be true.

5. The job finds you … as junk e-mail. A reputable company isn’t sending mass e-mails to strangers in hopes of finding the perfect candidate. If you receive an unsolicited e-mail for a work from home position, feel free to move it to the trash folder. “How could this man from Romania have known you were looking for home-based work?” Durst asks. “Miracles do happen, but not via SPAM.”

6. You don’t know anything about the job other than the fact that you work from home. If the job posting is full of hooks but fails to explain the actual duties or even give the position’s title, move on. You probably wouldn’t give a second look to a job posting that said, “Work from an office!” but nothing else.

7. The pictures speak louder than the words. Vacation brochures should have pictures of a tropical paradise; a job posting shouldn’t. “If the ad you’re looking at features palm trees, a mansion and a Ferrari, it’s probably a scam,” Durst cautions. The employer should be selling the position to you, not the illusion of a Hollywood lifestyle.

There are plenty of legitimate work from home jobs out there, you just have to search with caution. For example, despite his encounter with the envelope-stuffing scam, Otiko continued to search for home-based work. He kept an eye out for scams and researched companies before submitting applications. Eventually he found freelance opportunities that evolved into regular work.

Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 5:09 PM
SOURCE: http://msn.careerbuilder.com/custom/msn/careeradvice/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=1315&SiteId=cbmsn41315&sc_extcmp=JS_1315_advice&catid=js
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