Working remotely is a convenient way of making a living while having the freedom to work from home or work from anywhere in the world. It is currently trending as more people show interest and more companies hire virtually. Unfortunately, with the rise comes many frauds. How do you know when to question the legitimacy of a listing and how to avoid remote job scams?
Trust your instinct
We all have that automatic innate feeling that makes us question things when they don’t sound promising; trust yours. You could sometimes be wrong, but it doesn’t hurt to be more vigilant. You don’t have to have any specific reason to question; just trust your instinct.
If it sounds too good to be true, it may very well be
We’ve all seen the exaggerated and over-promising job listings at some point. Although not every job that sounds too good is a scam, most definitely are. Realistically speaking, companies can’t afford to just give their employees or freelancers huge amounts of monetary goods or benefits.
They are in it to make money, so what they give is in accordance
Make sure the company has a website and do your research
First of all, if a company you’re applying for doesn’t have a website, that’s a big red flag. It doesn’t always mean it’s a scam, but it probably is most of the time. You must have some type of resources to enable you to research the company. One of the best ways to do that is by going to the company website. Get some basic information about the company, including reviews, if applicable.
It helps a lot to read what others who have worked with them have to say. New businesses may not have any reviews online just yet, so also keep that in mind. But whatever you do, just make sure you’re 100% satisfied with the legitimacy of the company you’re applying for.
Avoid fake-looking websites
Not everyone is gifted with the ability to make a well-designed website, but we should all expect some type of standards. If a website looks spammy, highly unprofessional, and simply fake, it may be. Any modern business that doesn’t invest in basic web designing probably shouldn’t be trusted to provide jobs; especially if they hire remotely. The look of a website is a huge selling point for any business today. Most real businesses take that into considerate.
Be wary of job listings with too many grammatical errors
Hear me out here … common sense tells us to edit and proofread our documents before posting them online; especially for professional posts. Do we still make mistakes? Absolutely. You may even find one or two errors in this article. But come on, there’s an unwritten limit to how many grammatical errors a ‘company’ can make on a job listing. Job seekers should at least be able to easily read and understand the job description and requirements. That’s pretty basic and understandable, don’t you think?
You should question job listings with generic emails
If you’re applying for a job and the email posted is a generic one such as (at)
Avoid ‘jobs’ that ask for money or ask you to pay for something
Legitimate jobs will never ask for any upfront payments, be it for application fees, payments for required equipment or any sort of investments. If you’re getting hired for a job, then you shouldn’t have to pay for anything before starting. If there are software or equipment that you’d need for the job, you should be the one buying them without any third-party involvement.
When it comes to making an upfront investment in general, starting a business would have different rules from jobs, and that’s a completely different topic. The exception for jobs may be paying for a background check on very rare cases. Regardless, still be wary and do your research!
Pyramid schemes should raise a red flag
There are many pyramids schemes out there and people are still falling for them as the guys at the top continue to be richer. A pyramid scheme is when a company asks for investment to buy some of their products and ask you to recruit others under you to do the same thing.
Basically, instead of making money selling those products, the focus is on you recruiting others. There is a potential of making a lot of money, but also a high risk of losing money. Most pyramid schemes will lure you in with their products to make you think that it’s a real business that you’re investing in and selling awesome products. But once you join, you’ll quickly realize that all the focus is on you convincing others to invest as well.
The more people join, the richer those at the top get and they won’t need to make any more effort. Unfortunately, those at the bottom of the pyramid would have to continuously recruit people to see a difference in monetary reward. No wonder why it’s banned in most countries. The only trick is that they often come disguised under different names and models. Just be careful.
Use legitimate job boards
Use real job boards with real job posts to limit your chances of getting scammed. One way to find out if a job board is legitimate is if job listings are often double checked before approval or taken down in case of scam activities. If a job board is known to be full of scams, then you may want to rethink before applying on it.
Report spammy or scam-looking job posts
No matter what job board you use, make sure to report job posts that seem fake. Not only would it help you and other job seekers to stay clear of scams, but it would also help the job board to cut down on illegitimate listings. Job boards are still run by real human beings, so no matter how careful they are to provide real listings, mistakes can still happen. If you report scam-looking listings, it would give them the chance to reevaluate them.
At Remotific, we post and allow companies to post remote work for translation, writing and English teaching vacancies. We try our best to make sure that job listings are legitimate. But if you ever come across one that doesn’t seem to be, we urge you to let us know immediately.
Together, let’s strive to create and maintain a platform that benefits both job seekers and job posters. We wish you nothing but the absolute best experience.