As the opportunities to make money from home continue to emerge, so do the scammers. It seems as though for every 10 legitimate remote jobs, there are 20 scams waiting to trap you on your way to the money. But you shouldn’t let a few crappy people and their bot minions deter you from following your dream of working from home. You can avoid being scammed online by asking yourself a few simple questions before filling out any forms or making any deals with anyone via the web.
Avoid Being Scammed Online By Asking Yourself These Few Simple Questions Before Making Any Deals or Giving Away any Information.
Who Can See What I Post?
Scammers will often try and add you on Facebook, or follow you somewhere where you post about your daily life to try and worm their way into your pockets by route of things (or people) you care about. Be cautious about what you’re posting so as not to reveal too much info that could be used for identity theft, etc.
If you’re looking for work from home jobs, you may be tempted to connect with just anyone on social media. Try setting your Facebook to private and using LinkedIn for your professional connections to avoid putting yourself at risk. And, if you do use Facebook for networking, don’t post too many details about your life on your public profile.
Who Am I Talking To?
There are a million ways to make sure that the person who referred you to the site is legitimate. Simply glancing at the person’s Facebook page won’t suffice, because Facebook profiles are notorious for being faked and it’s super easy for anyone to pretend to be someone they’re not. Them telling you the company they represent isn’t enough to go on because they could just be lying about working there. Ask them for a LinkedIn profile or something else that can prove their connection to the company.
What Website Am I Actually On?
Always, always, always look to see what website you’re on before inputting any type of information. There are a ridiculous amount of phishing websites out there built to trick your eyes into thinking you’re on a legit company website when you’re really on a nearly identical fake made by scammers.
Is This Site Secure?
When you buy a website, you have the option to pay a small fee to protect your visitors by using secure transfer protocols. This basically means that your information is encrypted when you fill out any kind of form and enter your data so that it can’t be hijacked.
You can tell if a website is secure or not by looking at the browser bar. Does the link begin with https:// or http://? If you’ve got the “s”, the site’s secure. To avoid being scammed online, be very wary about entering any personal information on unsecured sites.
What’s This Going To Cost Me?
Freebies are one of the easiest ways for scammers to reel targets in. Everyone loves free stuff, right? So they’ll get you to sign up for some amazing free trial and hope that you won’t read the fine print – which most people don’t. And then, a few months later you get a bill for some crazy amount and when you go to cancel this subscription you didn’t remember signing up for, it’s damn near impossible. To avoid unnecessary angst, make sure to check renewal prices on anything “free.”
Can I Verify This Information With an Outside Source?
In some cases, scammers will spend so much time on your social media pages that they’re able to get inside your head, posing as someone who knows one of your friends or family members. They’ll make up elaborate stories to convince you to wire them money, claiming it’s being used to free your cousin from jail or pay for a plane ticket to get them out of a bad situation.
No matter what kind of tale you’re spun, double-check to make sure it’s the truth. Don’t take anyone’s words at face value, especially if you don’t know and/or trust them. Use Google and find your own phone numbers to call the place where they are supposedly located (hospital, jail, etc) to confirm.
Is This Business Listed With the BBB?
The Better Business Bureau exists to protect consumers from shady business practices. They have an online database with all of the complaints lodged against different organizations, along with a letter rating for each. So, before you decide to fill out an application or buy something from a certain company, check the BBB.
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Erika Sellmer is a digital content specialist with a master’s degree in public relations and over five years of experience in the online media industry.
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