Tips for Freelancers: 7 Telltale Signs A Job Posting is A Scam

Tips for Freelancers- 7 Telltale Signs A Job Posting is A Scam

Technology allows us to earn money from the comfort of our own home. When we see a job posting online, it’s only too easy to jump at the chance and get right to it. However, one of the best tips for freelancers I can give you is to be doubly wary about the job postings you are responding to.

Below are 7 telltale signs a job posting is a scam:

#1: The ad is not well-written

Real businesses would pay a professional to write their ads. Or if it is a small business owner, he should make sure his job ad looks professionally-written.

If the ad is full of grammatical errors, or if it’s too much of a hard sell, then it’s time you put your critic’s hat on. If the job posting is not professionally-written, then the chances that there is a real job waiting for you at the other end is either slim or nil.

#2: You need to pay them to get a shot at the job

So the ad is well-written. It even has testimonials. They have proof that the thing is legitimate. And then, they suddenly ask you to wire them money to get started. Application fees for jobs make the job posting shady. Repeat after me: when a strange ad asks you to wire money for any reason, it’s a scam. Stay away.

#3: They are suddenly asking for personal information

So there was a writing test for this job posting. You even had an online interview over Skype. They gave you a physical address and a contact number. Before you could even verify this information, they are suddenly asking you uncomfortable questions like your credit card number and security code, or your social security number.

No legitimate job posting would ask for such things. If you feel like you have suddenly been caught on a sticky, scammy web, cut all ties. Report the job posting if necessary.

#4: They are sending emails from a non-business address

Check what sort of email you are receiving from the person who posted the job. Is the address official enough? Does it look more like a temporary, fly-by-night free Yahoo or Gmail address?

Real businesses would take the time to create business email accounts. This shows they are legitimate, secure, and professional. If you are receiving emails from a personal (or invented, shady account), abort mission.

#5: The salary is way too high

Okay, there is no industry standard when it comes to pricing your services as a freelancer. But if you see encoding jobs that promise “millions of dollars” to the most diligent worker. Well, sorry to disappoint but encoders can only earn a minuscule fraction of that.

Not that data encoding is a trivial job, it’s just that you need to make sure the pricing is at least commensurate to the effort required to do the job.

As the saying goes, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” If an ad tends to over promise, proceed with caution, or better yet, stay away from it altogether.

#6: They are not asking for any experience or specific skills

It’s normal for a company to open its doors to newbies especially if the job is simple enough. However, if the job offers high pay and it does not even care about your skills or any related experience, it’s probably a scam. It is suspicious for an employer to not try to look for a freelancer’s skills, traits or experience that is related to the tasks required for the job he is offering.

#7: Your employer is too excited to hire you

Being hired on the spot without interviews, without job samples, and without being asked for a CV or portfolio is suspicious. Proceed with caution when it comes to job postings like this, or better yet, walk away. Walking away from shady shortcuts has always been one of the best tips for freelancers I have ever gotten myself.

Do you have any other anti-scam tips for freelancers? Did I miss anything?

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Gwenn Doria

Founder and Author at Virtual Success Avenue
Hey there, awesome! I started this blog because I understand the challenges of starting out and thriving as a professional working from home. My aim is to empower aspiring and fellow Virtual Assistants by sharing tips, inspiring stories and lessons learned about the Virtual Assistant industry. Get to know me more by visiting the "About Me" page. 🙂 Cheers!