Ways To Stay Safe While Looking For Online Jobs

FlexJobsGoogle the words “legitimate work from home jobs” and you’ll find around 4 million listings. Some of the listings truly are legitimate, but others are clearly scams. Sara Sutton Fell’s business, FlexJobs, is one of the exceptions. FlexJobs offers legitimate work from home jobs — every company is screened carefully before any of its jobs are posted — that can be done from home.

FlexJobs has had to overcome a few misconceptions (I admit I had a few doubts), thanks to less-than-honest scam artists out there who are ready to cheat anyone. Fell offers a few questions to make it easier to tell whether an online placement company is legitimate or not.

  • How much information do they provide up-front? Any company that has you sign up or provide personal contact information before giving you comprehensive details on what you are actually signing up for is a big red flag.
  • Do the words “evasive” or “sketchy” come to mind when you look at their site and read the information? If there is anything that gives you a gut reaction causing you to wonder if it’s legitimate, that’s a red flag.
  • Does the site provide contact information, including an address? If there’s a contact form, use it to try to talk with someone to ask some questions before signing up, or if there’s a number, try calling it. If you can’t reach a company as a prospective client, you will NEVER be able to reach them as a dissatisfied one.
  • Check with the BBB, IC3.gov (the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership including the FBI), and even google. Google the company name with the word “scam” and see what comes up.

Not only does FlexJobs offer legitimate jobs, they have a blog filled with helpful articles including How to Find a Real Online Job (and avoid the scams!).

Happy (online) hunting!

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