Work from home: A new tool to avoid job scams

By Diane Lee (WSPA)

One question we get from you a lot is how can you figure out if a “work from home” job is real?

A new survey finds the vast majority of those postings are bogus, and young people are the most likely to fall for it.

Here are some warning signs, and below is a new resource that helps sift out the real offers from the scams.

When you need flexible hours like USC Upstate student Jordan Phillips, you may run into quite a few scams. Before he got his job at the campus book store, he says he applied for a work from home job that claimed filling out online surveys.

“It would ask for your personal information, social security, phone number, address and stuff like that, and that is kind of fishy.”

How about this one, Miranda Farris showed us a campus-wide alert about a fake job offer where you get pre-payed and have to send some money back. Then the check bounces.

“We’re just thinking, we need money, so that’s a job opportunity, we’re going to take it,” said Farris.

Ron Patane, helps students get jobs. He says scammers use techniques like:

– copying a well known brand logo
– charging a fee to get hired
– and making an offer over text or social media

“Scammers will go out there and see your name posted knowing that you are desperate for a job, they will contact you and ask for personally identifying information that they can take and use it for malicious purposes,” said Patane.

To avoid job scams search on career sites that are more narrow. Universities usually have their own, and if you’re not a student, FlexJobs investigates companies that are looking to hire, though there is a monthly fee: $15./mo or $30/3mo or $50/yr.

The director of online content for Flexjobs says it hand-screens each job before it’s posted to determine whether it’s a scam. The company found, for every legitimate flexible job posting, there are 60 to 70 job scams online.
How To Report A Scam:

The FTC at ftc.gov/complaint or 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

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