There has been a steady rise in remote work opportunities, especially after the world pandemic. Add to this the limited job market in many countries, it’s no wonder people have been turning to the internet for employment. In many cases, this is the only option for a normal life. This steady influx of underprivileged people is fertile ground for scammers to flourish.
Fraudulent entities will dangle with the prospect of excellently paid work and get-rich-quick jobs and people will flock to their scheme. It is sometimes difficult to differentiate a fraud from a good job opportunity, so we present you with the most common job scams on the internet.
You’ve Got the Job!
Millions of people are searching actively for employment, some of them desperately. Most job scams rely on this. One day one such unemployed individual receives an unsolicited email congratulating them – They got a job! Of course, the target happily pounces on the offer. Sadly, what awaits them is not employment, but rather a web of deceitful steps to con them out of their money.
The scam then works in two ways. It could try to extort money by asking for startup fees. Usually, they would demand from the target an upfront payment in order to get employment. This is framed as a part of a job requirement, for example, the victim needs to buy special software, and materials or pay for training. Since the job is non-existent they are wasting their money.
The second goal of work-online scams might not be so direct, but actually, it is trying to get your personal and banking data. As a part of the interview or the onboarding process, the target has to answer a series of questions. By doing so they divulge sensitive information which scammers use for credit card fraud and identity theft.
Data Entry Scam
Though this job position is a legitimate and common career option, con people will use it to prey on their potential victims. It is particularly vulnerable to scams as it doesn’t require any specific skill or proficiency. Anyone can apply for it which enables scammers to throw a wide net.
When it comes to dirty tactics they tend to be common for many internet employment scams. The first warning sign is the promise of unrealistically high salaries and wages. Whenever an employer is willing to pay hefty sums for your entry-level job, chances are they are luring you into fraud. Another red flag is the complete lack of company information. If you can’t find anything online about your potential company, you should be aware it could be a scam.
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Freight Forwarding Scams
With the sheer scope of e-commerce, it stands to reason that logistics and shipment services are ever-growing. Many delivery and freight companies are swamped with orders so they need to outsource or expand their business. This is a selling point for this specific con.
The perpetrators of credit card fraud tend to order goods online to later sell them or for other purposes. However, they can’t really give their home address for their shipping location as that will lead the police right to them. In order to circumvent this problem, they hire people to serve as their parcel mules.
The scammer will present as an official shipping company which needs additional manpower. They offer their target a job opportunity to receive packages and resend them to another address. The task seems easy enough, and usually, it goes with a promise of an unusually high salary. Unfortunately, the victim uses their own money to resend the parcel and is never reimbursed for it. What’s worse, they might end up in a criminal investigation for stolen goods.
Most work-from-home scams use legitimate job titles to lure their victims. The same goes for online trading as it is a legitimate form of making money. To a layman, it seems that online traders do very little and get to earn bundles of cash. Of course, this isn’t the case, as it requires financial expertise and in-depth knowledge of the world market. However, scammers will use this misconception to attract people who want to get rich quickly.
The fraudulent online trading portals advertise all over the place. You can find their banners and ads on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and other popular social media. They offer their victims a chance to practice online trading with some sort of secret advantage that will guarantee enormous success. The extra help they promise usually comes in the form of unique market prediction software, or tips and trading advice from verified experts.
The scam siphons money in several ways. The fraudulent sites might ask for a high fee for worthless services. The con may also demand people to buy special software, which most of the time ends up being malware. Finally, they can also ask for the target’s money in order to trade in their name. Unfortunately, these funds simply vanish into thin air, and the site is responsive to victim’s calls and pleas.
Work in Crafts
This scam is very old, but it experienced a resurgence on a massive level owing to the internet. The target is offered a job opportunity to do manual tasks, for example assembling items or producing crafts. This can be very appealing across the globe as the work doesn’t require language skills or prior knowledge. Almost always, the tasks are highly easy to perform, and the promise of a payoff is surprisingly high. This is a warning sign because if the offer is too good to be true, it’s usually a scam.
When the target accepts the job, they are asked to make some sort of payment. The con explains this either as an entrance fee or buying off materials and equipment. Of course, they promise this is simply an investment that will generate a return tenfold. In the majority of cases, after the investment, the victim never receives their tasks and materials, and the fraudulent employer disappears.
Things can be worse, a scammer can go for the long run. The target can receive cheap and overpriced equipment and materials, confirming the illusion the work is legitimate. However, once they do their part of the bargain they are met with constant criticism and demands for a new payment. Along with their funds, the victim ends up losing time and energy.
Phishing and Vishing
Phishing is the most common starting point of a scam. It starts with a person receiving an email or a message on their social network or an app. They usually pose as an official or legitimate company, and they go to great lengths to achieve this. The email might have a respectable presentation with the logo of a famous institution.
This is all a ruse to make the target pull down their guard as the email in most cases contains a link and a call to action. With the constant stream of messages we receive daily, most people eventually click on the link. This starts a chain of events that either sets off a scam or it starts stealing the target’s personal info.
Vishing is also a regularly employed tactic for many job scams. The term is a portmanteau that combines the words voice and phishing. It functions similarly to phishing, but instead of an email, the target receives an unsolicited phone call. This also serves as an entry point for a larger scam, or as a means of personal info extraction. However, it is more direct, and a target might find it difficult to say no. The callers use manipulation techniques to make their victims trust them.
What to Do in Case of an Employment Scam?
Naturally, people search for employment to earn a living, so it is additionally damaging when a person loses money to a work-from-home scam. We at Funds Recovery have extensive experience in battling various types of scams and frauds. We can help you with the recovery of your lost money. Our experts can evaluate your case and make the best possible plan to ensure you return your lost funds.
If you or someone you know have been a victim of an employment scam, don’t hesitate to contact us. Take the first steps towards reclaiming your hard-earned money. Contact us for a free consultation.