Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Considering using the internet to search for a job,,,read on

Important points to keep in mind when searching/considering an internet job offer:

The obvious:

  • Research the prospective company
  • Do not divulge personal information--bank account, Social Security numbers, PayPal or credit card numbers, driver's license, or passport
  • Never forward, transfer or "wire" money to an employer
  • Be aware of work-from-home opportunities--promises of quick cash and a lot of it--especially if you have to pay a "registration fee" or a fee for training and/or equipment (ie. Envelope Stuffing Scams)
  • Watch for misspellings and grammatical mistakes in the job ad
  • Key words "no experience necessary" or "will train" (Yes I do realize that to companies that I am considering have both)
  • Do not be fooled by official-sounding corporate names--research
  • A lack of interest in meeting the employee--all interaction is via e-mail, fax, telephone
The not so obvious:
  • Research the prospective company
  • Avoid listings that use these descriptions: "package forwarding," "reshipping," "money transfers," "wiring funds" and "foreign agent agreements"
  • Don't partake in cross-border action
  • Avoid payment-forwarding or payment-transfer scam--do not transfer money and retain a portion of the payment (ie. Nigerian Check Cashing Scam or Secret Shopper)--see my posts SCAM ALERT!! and More Information--SCAM ALERT!!
  • Reshipping--these scams begin with an employment offer for a job forwarding packages; usually packages are received at home and then instructions to repackage/reship to another location
  • Avoid a request to "scan the ID" of a job seeker, scammers will say they need to "verify identity"
  • Check contact e-mail address, is it a primary domain or a company domain (for example my prior employer had it's own domain name)
  • Phishing scams are cleverly hidden attempts to get your account information. These e-mails appear legitimate and often claim that there is an urgent need for you to log into your account and verify personal information. If you receive one of these e-mails, check the destination URL on the provided link before attempting to log-in or submit any information; the links could actually lead the recipient to a false Web site. (PayPal is one company that is a "victim" of phishers. From experience PayPal always addresses their correspondences using your full name registered with. Earthlink is another company I have received phishes about as well as numerous banking institutions that I have no connection with. If your not sure CALL them!!)
  • Medical Billing--be weary of these prepackaged businesses, they always contain an initial financial investment. The ad or solicitation explains that the market for medical billing is wide open. (The medical billing industry is fierce and revolves around several large and well-established firms. Few consumers who purchase medical billing business opportunities are able to generate enough revenue to profit, and usually can't earn enough to recover initial investment. Please note that I am not saying medical billing as a profession is not legitimate, it is the prepackage work-at-home kits to be leery of.)
  • Work-at-Home Job Lists--these scams claim to sell lists of companies that are hiring for work-at-home positions. These lists are rarely updated and often yield a list of worthless leads. (There are well researched lists available you just have to look, avoid ones you have to pay for!!)
Be proactive:
  • Do Your Research!! You have to do a little investigative work--the Better Business Bureau, your state's Attorney General, and other state business offices to see if the company is licensed and registered to do business in your state. Most fraudulent companies will not go through the work of filling out the paperwork and registering with the appropriate organizations.
  • Insist on a Face-to-Face Meeting--you should always ask for a face-to-face meeting before taking on a business opportunity.
  • Ask lots of questions--Who will be paying me? How often will I be paid? What exactly will I be doing? Is this contract-based or permanent work? Where is your company's physical location? Does your company operate under any other names? What is the total cost for me to participate in this program? What is your company's privacy policy?
Hopefully these tips will keep us all safe!!

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