Monday, March 22, 2010

Don't Be A Victim Of Online Job Scams

Beware Of Online Job Scams 

Current economic conditions are leading many people to use the Internet to seek out opportunities to make money while working from home. BBB warns that not all work-at home opportunities being advertised online are legitimate and many could cost you money or your identity.

Job scams being posted online are fairly similar to those posted in traditional classified ads. The difference is merely that the number of online job scams is exploding with the increased use of the Internet and social networking sites.

Education is the key to determining whether or not a job posted online is a scam. While there are hundreds of different types of work-at-home and online job scams out there, most of them follow the same premise. Look for the following red-flags when seeking work online:

Be aware of...
1) Jobs that require money up front. A common ploy of fraudsters advertising illegitimate work-at-home opportunities is to require that you send money to obtain an information kit or start-up package to begin your business. In many of these instances the money you send may be kept and no product is ever received. Or the information kit or start-up package you receive costs more than it is really worth, and will not assist in generating a reasonable income for you.

2) Jobs that sound too good to be true. As the old adage goes “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.” Even with legitimate job opportunities it is very rare that people make large amounts of money with very little investment of time, money or energy.

3) Jobs that require you to wire, forward or transfer money through personal banking accounts (called payment transfer scams). In these scams job seekers are asked to wire money through a personal account, PayPal account or Western Union account for one of many convincing sounding reasons. The job seeker often is told they can keep a percentage of the money transfer. However, in most cases the money being moved is stolen and the job seeker is unknowingly committing theft and wire fraud.

4) Jobs or job applications that require you to provide detailed personal and financial information. It is unwise to provide prospective employers with details such as your birth date, Social Insurance Number, bank account numbers etc. unless you are absolutely confident that you can trust them. Many online job scams request this information as part of the application process, then use it to steal or sell your identity.

5) Jobs or job applications that require you to download information from unsecure sources. Many job scams being forwarded via social networking sites require you to click on a link or to “download” an application form. In doing so job seekers unknowingly are installing malware and viruses onto their computers, that then result in their personal and financial information and login, being monitored or stolen from their computers.

To protect yourself from becoming a victim of online job scams BBB advises job hunters to:
  • Review the business’s BBB Reliability Report at bbb.org to see if the BBB reports complaints or other concerns you need to consider.
  • Don't fall for any offer that guarantees a lot of money for little effort and no experience. Financial success does not occur overnight.
  • Thoroughly read the Web site’s terms and conditions. Keep in mind that a free trial or start-up kit could cost you more money in the end than the job is worth.
  • Be wary of work-at-home offers that use logos from Google, Twitter or other prominent online businesses. Just because Google or a reputable company name is used doesn’t mean the business is in anyway affiliated.
  • Research the Web site with whois.net or a similar site for determining domain name ownership. If the site is anonymous or individually registered, beware.

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