Don't get fooled by a business opportunity scam. There are many legit offers out there but be careful not to fall for these common tricks.
Perhaps one of the most relevant pieces of wisdom in today’s job search is this: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"
I don’t know who said it, but I like to think this person was browsing through Craigslist and shaking their head at the absolute flood of business opportunity scams that plague the site! The decent worker who is trying to make a living has to sift through layer upon layer of what seem like great jobs! Unfortunately, not all job postings are as great as they seem.
Have you seen any of the following phrases on Craigslist lately?
Make $1000 a day from the comfort of your own home!
Quick, Easy Money. No experience required!
Stay-at-home moms and college students welcome!
Get paid for just an hour of work!
Wow! Only one hour of work! Don’t grab your resume and cover letter just yet. These scammers use these ads for free work or worse, identity theft. Think about this: each resume you send, with your personal contact information, is sent to an unknown person.
Not to be discouraging, just a warning to remain cautious online. There are plenty of verified real jobs on the market using craigslist to find candidates. To decide which jobs are worth the effort, here is a list of common scams scene on craigslist so that you can avoid them in the future:
The Product Review Business Opportunity Scam
Online reviews rule the marketing world for products sold on the Internet. With the rise of popularity for Yelp, Google reviews, and similar customer review platforms, companies are paying big bucks to get their five star rating.
These scams come in a few forms. One version is seeking someone to write reviews for $10 or $20. Often times, the scammer may initially pay you a few dollars for your time with the promise of payment after the review is posted. Then they will magically disappear.
Anther version of this scam is when they are seeking “someone to write short 50 word descriptions of businesses. Yeah, it’s a review.
The Vending Machine Business Opportunity Scam
Vending machines are an old business that has been around for a long time. With only a small investment, scammers claim that you can make a living doing practically no work at all except traveling to collect your money every week.
The truth is that these businesses have razor thin margins, and even if you find a great spot to put your machine, most owners only make a little bit of money per machine per week. Profitable vending machine business owners will tell you that the secret is to invest in a lot of machines.
The scam here is that self’-named ‘gurus’ offer to teach you the secrets of this trade for a price. Take their class for X amount of dollars and you will have instant success!
The Envelope Stuffing Business Opportunity Scam
This scam is particularly awful because it often appeals to people who can’t leave the house or have limited mobility. The elderly fall for this scam too often.
Here is the gist: You see an ad that someone is looking for a worker to stuff envelopes from the comfort of their home for a few hundred dollars. Once you apply for the job, the scammers offer to send you instructions on how to start your own envelope stuffing business—for a small fee of course.
Once you send the money to the thieves, you are on your own trying to sell your envelope stuffing services to unwilling businesses.
How To Stay Safe
The key takeaway here is to vet every job before you apply. You can avoid most of these scams by doing the following:
Do a quick Google search of the job description. If it is a scam, chances are that someone will put up a warning on the web!
Never take any job that you have to pay money to join or apply.
Do not send your banking information to anyone online!
Trust your gut. Remember; be wary of jobs that are too good to be true.
On a happier note, if you really are looking for jobs online, they do exist! In fact, studies predict that more than 50% of the workforce will be working remotely or freelancing from home by 2020! That means that you really can earn a living from home!
Hey, it may not be as easy as stuffing envelopes but at least it pays the bills!