5 Holiday Scams & how to avoid them!
The holiday season can be such a joyful time, but this is also the time of year where you have to be extra careful when looking for work at home opportunities and seasonal jobs because there are a ton of scams out there!
I am going to give you 5 red flags when searching for work at home opportunities this holiday so you can sniff out the fake ones from the real ones!
- Never pay for training - Some companies will ask you to work for a less amount when training, but I've never heard of a legit company asking you to pay them for training! This is a huge red flag, if you have to pay upfront for a job then walk away it's a scam! If they ask for money don't even look back, just walk away. Far...far away!
- No information - If you find a work at home opportunity that says, make 1500 overnight just click this link and enter your email, phone number and all your info, it's a scam! First of all, if they are making 1500 overnight, I doubt they would be posting it on Craigslist or Facebook. If a company is not willing to give you their information up front, then that smells fishy to me. When I want to hire someone to work for me, I want to give them as much info on my company as possible so that I know if they will be a good employee or not. If the company is being secretive or asking for your email before you can learn about the amazing once in a lifetime job then walk away! Knowledge is power and if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
- Fake Charities - This is such a sad reality but it's a huge problem this time of year. My husband and I were driving and we saw this church group collecting money in buckets as cars went by. We actually donated money to the church, but a few days later we saw on the news that they had been arrested for panhandling and there was no such church. You might find organizations asking for donations, or even asking for help for the holidays. I've even seen a few that have offered to pay for helpers for the season. However, I can't stress this enough... do your research on them. If it's not a well-known organization then I'd be leery of donating. If you want to donate, go to a well known and established charity like ASPCA or St. Jude! Now, that's not to say that you can't go volunteer at your local animal shelter or a local store you are aware of in your town. Just use good judgment when you see these seasonal jobs online asking for you to work and never end up paying you. There are a lot of great places out there that will pay you for your time, so do not give up on your search just use good judgment.
- Gift Cards - I've seen a few job posting on Craigslist offering to give you a $200 Wal-Mart gift card in exchange for emailing a list of people their information or stuffing envelopes. This is a scam. Anytime a company says they want to pay with a gift card then you're probably never going to get it, and you put in the work for free. Any real company is going to pay you with a check, or through a bank, so they can track their expenses at the end of the year. You can't do that with gift cards, therefore, it's a huge red flag! Plus real companies know it's cheaper to send emails and the biggest business are doing away with sending out mail unless it's an invoice. So envelope stuffing is another red flag!
- Ask Questions- If you find a remote job that you think will work for your needs then ask them questions about their company. Ask specific questions like when was this company established, how many customers do you get, your salary, and as many other detailed questions as possible. If it's a scam they will not be able to answer and will probably hang up or stop chatting. However in my experience, if it's a real employer they admire your willingness to learn and know about the company and I have gotten hired at least 3 times by doing just this. Asking questions (a lot of questions) and the person hiring really loved how interested I was in the company and I got hired. So it's a win-win. If it's a scam you scare them off, and if it's a real job you look like an enthusiastic new employee!
- (BONUS) Problem with payment - This is not a job but I had this happen to me with Amazon. I purchased a bunch of stuff for Cyber Monday and today I got an email from Amazon saying some items in my cart were not paid for. I clicked on the link in the email and it sent me to a fake Amazon site. It said Amazon at the top but it looked different and was just a log in screen. I also noticed the web URL was not Amazon. So I went to my real Amazon account and there was no issue with my payment. Someone was trying to get me to put my credit card info into their pockets.
Be smart, and be safe. As wonderful as this time of year is, there are also a lot of people out there that don't care about anything but your money so please research the company you're thinking of working for. Go on Snopes.com to see if it's a scam. Also never meet anyone that you don't know at a private location. If someone wants to use your services or hire you for a job and wants to meet with you. Go to a public restaurant or an area where you won't be alone.
I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I do hope you will stay safe, and stay smart when it comes to holiday work at home jobs!
Here is a link to the podcast I did on this as well.