Top 5 Signs that an Online Job is a Scam

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Technology and Remote Work

The rise in the use of the internet in the past decade enabled businesses to outsource remotely some of the work needed in their operations. This practice gave online professionals the capability to render their services to remote or offshore clients at the comfort of their own home. Some companies require periodic meetings with their remote professionals while others do not require any in-person appearance. Truly, technology has provided an easier way of doing business operations effectively and efficiently.

Over the past decade, various websites also sprouted out offering online jobs, dubbed as online bidding sites or online job sites. Although many of them really offer legitimate remote work and are duly registered businesses, there are still some websites that pose as legal businesses but are, in fact, illegitimate. In this article, the top five signs that an online job is a scam will be explored.

Is it a scam? Here are the warning signs . . .

The Salary is Too High for an Easy Task. People may fall for this trap since the pay is lucrative. Who wants to work so hard for so little? Desperate job applicants may fall for this trick as they may think of it as instant “Cha Ching!” Looking at it closely, what kind of company would be willing to pay thousands of dollars just for copy and paste or data entry jobs? Normally, high-paying work requires certain level of qualifications; so if the offer is too high you’d better think twice.

The applicant needs to pay to get the job. Why would an applicant even pay to get a job; shouldn’t it be the other way around? Normally, the job seeker is the one that gets paid when he gets the job done. Whenever you are asked to pay a fee to get a job this should serve as a warning sign for you. But know also that some job bidding sites charge a minimal fee to let you get premium exposure to clients seeking your kind of service. This kind of fee is legitimate. What you need to watch out for are suspicious job ads that ask for money before they could let you access job lists for bidding. Research the background of your would-be client so you won’t fall for this trick.

You get hired on the spot. Getting the online job that you dream of may prove to be exciting and fulfilling, but if you get hired without going through any application process, think twice. Normally, an interview is necessary before getting any job, and some jobs even require certain qualification tests to gauge your ability as the applicant. If your prospective client is eager to hire you on the spot, you might as well stay away from these offers.

The interview is conducted purely in instant messenger/IM. Yes, we cannot argue that our world right now is tech-driven, but that is not an excuse to have a purely IM interview for a job. Although some conduct IM interviews, they still perform other recruitment-related processes like exams, asking for sample portfolios and Skype interview. Building trust requires a deeper engagement so most businesses prefer to hear and see the applicants during the interview process.

The job ad does not look professional. Grammar and presentation of the job ad must look legit and formal. If there are grammatical errors and the layout or overall appearance of the ad looks shabby or the content doesn’t seem to make sense, then never bother yourself anymore in contacting that job offer.

Better Safe than Sorry

By following the top five tips mentioned above, you may be able to spot the legit ones from the scams. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be vigilant in checking out the background of the job offers or interest before jumping right into it.

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As an online professional, Marilyn transitioned her way up to success by investing in the field of virtual assistance and web design. Networking with esteemed colleagues in the field, she co-founded Philippine Virtual Assistant Network (PVAN) , Philippines largest online virtual assistant community with over 20,000+ members and counting.

Marilyn is the Project Manager of Remote Virtual Assistant Agency, a virtual staffing agency based in New York, USA, as well as the trainer for Virtual Assistant Guide and Web Internship Program which helps aspiring work from home professionals.

As a serial entrepreneur, she's one of the managing partner of New York Sari-Sari Store Inc.- an eCommerce platform serving clients both in US & Philippines, St. Jeanne Beverly Learning Center & JM Property Rentals - a Pre-school Institution and a growing fleet of rental apartments together with her loving and very supportive husband.

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