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Watch out for fake employers promising high paying work-from-home jobs

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Posted at 6:00 AM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 12:09:54-05

With the "great resignation" comes the excellent job market for new work-from-home opportunities in 2022. But before answering the call, there are a few things to be aware of to avoid falling victim to a remote work job scam.

Laurie Obermeyer is a freelance graphic designer who lost a lot of work during the pandemic and needed something a little more stable.

When a construction company contacted her about graphics work, they told her she got the job — but first, she needed to send money for equipment, which sounded a bit strange.

"They were going to send me some things to build a remote office, a Mac," Obermeyer said.

After some research, Obermeyer realized it was all a scam to get her money.

Warning signs of a fake employer offering remote work

Obermeyer isn't alone. The Better Business Bureau has issued an alert about similar scams, with so many people now searching for work-from-home jobs that don't require them to report to an office.

"If you are offered a job that involves free shipping things to other places, that's likely a scam job because most companies will ship things themselves," BBB spokeswoman Rebecca Phoenix said.

Reshipping jobs are just one of the scams the BBB is seeing.

"We also see a lot of jobs involving big checks, and those are used in a variety of ways," Phoenix said. "Whether it is cashing what looks like legitimate checks or simply cashing a check and sending the rest to a secret account, those all are illegal and could land you in hot water."

If it is an illegal job, victims of the scam could be held accountable by authorities.

Red flags to watch for

The BBB says when job hunting, it is vital to remember:

  • Employers will never ask for payment upfront for a job, even to purchase equipment.
  • Be wary of job offers that don't require an interview, even during peak hiring season and with all the worker shortages these days.
  • Be wary of big money for small jobs. Suppose an employer is promising excellent wages for what seems like simple tasks such as reshipping packages, stuffing envelopes, being a "secret shopper," or answering phones. In that case, it should be a red flag.
  • Be suspicious if they send a check for several thousand dollars even before starting work. The check is almost always fake, and you will lose hundreds of your dollars.

Finally, employees should never work for a company before they are officially hired. A legitimate company will not ask potential applicants to complete complex projects before making an official offer.

So be very careful if you are looking for work-from-home employment, so you don't waste your money.

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