When you’re desperate to find work, there comes a point when you are willing to try just about anything. That is the time to be most on your guard. There are plenty of people and companies out there willing to capitalize on your desperation. Follow a few simple tips and use your own good judgment and you can avoid getting caught up in a job scam.
Too Good to Be True
A few years ago, people answered job ads for warehousing. It turns out he company was having products shipped to “employees” who would receive the package and forward it. Occasionally they would have the employee process the payment as well. This entailed cashing the money order, deducting a 10% handling fee for themselves and then sending the rest of the cash to a third party via Western Union. Very few products showed up. Mostly envelopes with money orders arrived. It was a scam conducted by a third party, often in a foreign country, using eBay to fraudulently sell merchandise that was never delivered. People were accepting the payments and forwarding them without knowing what was going on. It was their name the eBay buyer and since they had cashed the money orders, they were liable. They had committed fraud and even mail fraud, both crimes punishable by stiff penalties and jail time. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it is.
Cash for Jobs
You should never, ever have to pay for a job. Any company that promises to give you a job for any kind of fee should set your radar on alert. Some companies will offer to sell you a list of job leads. That is more legitimate, but more often than not, the leads are old and no longer viable.
The closest you can come to legitimately paying for a job is when you decide to be a demonstrator salesperson. In this case, you pay for a demonstrator’s kit so that you have product samples to use. An example would Tupperware or Avon. Once you purchase the kit, the company helps you with training and maybe even some leads. After that you need to be careful. They will continually try to get you to purchase additional materials for your kit. You can end up spending far more than you make.
Get Paid Upfront
There are a number of jobs where you can request payment in full or even partial payment upfront. Before you perform any services, make sure both you and your client or employer understand the terms of your arrangement. Perhaps you are a whiz at website design or you are a freelance writer. These skills can allow you to set your price and request all or part of the payment upfront. Because you are dealing with faceless people over the internet, most honest people expect you to want to protect yourself by requesting payment upfront. They will want to protected as well and may agree to half up front and the balance upon satisfactory completion of whatever the work is. If they refuse to make any sort of good faith payment before work begins, you may want to move on to another client.