The popularity of online jobs has significantly increased over the last few years due to the amount of convenience they offer. From having full control of your work schedule and saving time previously spent commuting, to working from the comfort of your home, remote based jobs are a dream come true for many people. There are many opportunities online and with the right skills, you can easily make a decent living.

However, as good as that sounds, the real problem comes when you try to get a legit online job amidst the scams. There are several trustworthy platforms where clients post legitimate work-from-home opportunities.

Unfortunately, scammers always find a way to penetrate into those platforms as well and, unless you know how to spot them, you can easily fall victim.

These scammers know how much you are in need of a job and understand the kind of competition that is in the job market. With this knowledge, it becomes easy for them to pose as professional hiring managers and scam your financial information.

Some can also take advantage of your innocence and desperation to get a job, hire you, and then disappear on payday. Though, all is not lost for online freelancers. Cybersecurity is on the rise and you can also use the following methods to avoid getting conned.

Trust your intuition

Your instincts are your best defense in most life situations and trusting them comes in handy when presented with a scam.

Instead of jumping into a job just because it sounds lucrative, logically analyze it before giving an answer. If the promoter is promising too much money for little effort, ask yourself where he is getting the money. If something feels off about the job, simply walk away without thinking twice.

Do a background check

Just because a recruiter posts a job opening on one of the online job boards doesn’t mean the position is legitimate.

If, for some reason, you apply for the position and the hiring manager gets back to you and tells you that your skills and experience match their requirements, take your time to know the company before accepting the position. If you are taken through an interview, feel free to ask questions that will help you learn more about the company.

You should also consider asking for a down payment of the agreed amount to minimize risk. If the recruiter is genuine, he will have no problem depositing the money,, but if he insists on paying the full amount upon delivery, then that raises a lot of questions and you should consider walking away.

Reach out to the hiring company

Although a recruiter can approach you with all the job details, including compensation, once you take up the job, he might fail to give you the company details. A situation like this raises flags since you should know which company you are working for. If the promoter is unwilling to give you all the details, then you should calmly decline the offer.

The mode of communication

Changes in technology have changed the way we communicate including how recruiting managers carry out interviews. However, there are a few online communication methods a legitimate company will avoid. For instance, a legit company won’t use instant messaging. A company might contact you for the first time via email and then take the interview to video conferencing.

Signs that shout scam!

An online scammer can go a long way to hide his real identity but you can still recognize one by keeping an eye out for the following signs;

  • Asking you for your personal and financial information in the early stages of the interview
  • Promising to pay you a lot of money for very little work.
  • Job posting has grammatical errors and lacks fluency.
  • Usage of a personal email address or one that mimics a company name that doesn’t exist.
  • You are immediately offered the job even before the recruiter asks for your portfolio.