coronavirus

How to Avoid Getting Scammed From ‘Work at Home’ Jobs During Pandemic

A search for remote jobs on some of the popular job websites will show thousands of positions for everything from writers to customer service representatives to online teachers

NBC Universal, Inc.

If you find yourself suddenly unemployed and at home during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, you might be curious about work-at-home jobs.

A search for remote jobs on some of the popular job websites will show thousands of positions for everything from writers to customer service representatives to online teachers - a world Tamara Manning knows well.

Manning, who has worked remotely for four years, does contract work in digital marketing using a computer and a headset from her living room in Miami.

“You don’t need an office, you don’t need a desk,” she said. “The last two jobs I had, I was able to get benefits for.”

Brie Reynolds works for Flexjobs.com, a paid job search site focused on freelance and remote jobs. She says right now, they’re seeing an increase in traffic on their site as well as job openings in certain areas.

“Definitely in computer and IT, we see software engineering, software developers, customer service is really big right now because so many companies are scrambling to support an influx of online purchases,” Reynolds said.

One problem? Knowing if the job is legitimate.

“This has been something that’s a problem for years. But we see in these times when people are really looking for remote work and we see an increase, that the scammers come right along with that.”

Reynolds says you should watch out for pyramid schemes and jobs that are offered on the spot - which could end up being a phishing scam to get your personal information.

“A lot of times, scams are lower level types of positions where you think you’re going to be making easy money, but it turns out it’s just a complete scam.” She said. “I looked at online reviews, making sure that the positions they offered were legit. Also, a lot of the job descriptions you can copy and paste part of the descriptions into Google and you can research the companies.”

One tip: never give money up front and only hand over personal information once you’ve actually accepted a position. You shouldn’t have to buy a ‘work-from-home’ kit or software from a company to work for them. Also, stay away from any job that wants you to move money or products around.

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