As work from home jobs get popular in India, scammers are having a field day. Therefore, it is vital to learn how to avoid work from home job scams. Various, innovative modus operandi is used by fraudsters and scammers nowadays.
We start by looking at various types of work from home jobs that are common worldwide, including in India.
Types of Work from Home Jobs
Broadly, work from home jobs in India come in five different categories.
- Telecommute: With real estate prices going through the roof, large Indian companies are increasingly hiring telecommuters. This means you work from home for a reputed and well-known
- Freelancing: More than 15 million women and men work on freelance jobs in India. The country has the second largest number of freelancers in the world. If you are getting jobs from reputed freelancing website like Upwork and Fiverr among others, you are safe against scams.
- Crowdsource Projects: If you are getting excellent work from home job from respectable crowdsourcing platform, there are no chances of scams. Companies such as RedesignMe, Chaordix, uTest operate globally, and your money is safe.
- Part-time Work from Home: Millions of Indians work from home part-time for another employer. Usually, these people have a full time job and work part-time to make more money. The employer is usually known.
- Work from Home Job Offers: This is the area where scammers operate. They advertise work from home jobs in newspapers, streets and online. Work from home jobs such as data entry, remote assistance, sales and marketing among others, can be a scam.
If you are looking for a work-from-home job in the fifth category, beware of scams. If the company ask for registration fee then it’s a scam. So look for sites that provide free work at home options.
How to Avoid Work from Home Job Scams
Remember, scammers, are not interested only in your money. They have other nefarious designs too, which I will discuss later in this article.
Never Pay Money
If an employer demands money for any reason to give you a work from home job, it is definitely a scam. Do not fall for it.
The most common scam is an employer asking you to pay money for software necessary to work from home. Or as a security deposit to ensure you complete the work.
Such cheaters will promise to refund your money after a month or more. Usually, they will ask for payment online.
They will also send you an impressive looking receipt with some remote address. The software never arrives, and the company vanishes soon thereafter.
Jobs without Interview
If there are no in-person interviews for a work-from-home job, it is a scam. Also, employers that interview you online through Skype, Google Duo, WhatsApp video chat and similar software are also frauds.
You might also land the job and start working. Occasionally, your employer may pay small amounts of money to keep you interested. But when it comes to paying full salary, such employers will vanish. Or, they will make excuses for not paying your dues.
Target Based Pay Scam
Avoid taking work from home job where an employer will pay you only upon completion of a target. This scam is rife in work-from-home data entry jobs. The remote employer will provide you with templates and raw data. Your task is to key in the raw data onto the template.
In such scams, employers set unrealistic targets. You cannot achieve these unrealistic targets even by working 12 to 14 hours a day- which itself is excruciating. Further, the scammer will deny payments if you commit any small mistakes.
Unrealistic Salaries & Incentives
Median pay for any work-from-home job in India is around Rs.15, 000 per month. However, you might come across work-from-home jobs that offer Rs.50, 000 and more like pay for completing simple tasks.
Never allow this unrealistic salary, pay or incentives to attract you. In all probabilities, they are a scam. Usually, such scammers will ask for a security deposit or some money to give you the job. They vanish with your money.
Check Credentials of Employer
Verifying credentials of an employer is an amazingly simple way to avoid work from home job scams. Any good employer will have proper credentials including a management team, office address, website, telephone numbers and email.
Visit their office if it is located in your city or town and meet officials personally. If their office is located in another town, do some online research. If they do not have an online presence, ask a question on Quora and other forums about the employer. If all these details are unavailable, it is a work from home job scam.
Avoid Pyramid & Ponzi Schemes
Never take a work-from-home job that involves selling a product or service to get commissions. It could be a Ponzi or Pyramid scheme. These employers will masquerade as multinational corporations, foreign banks and financial institutions.
Ponzi and Multilevel Marketing (MLM) schemes in India try to lure victims by disguising them as work from home jobs. You can land in serious trouble with the law: Ponzi schemes are illegal in India.
What Scammers Want?
Remember, scammers, are not merely interested in your money or getting work done free. Over a period, they will ask sensitive financial information such as bank account number, debit card number, Permanent Address Number (PAN) card and Unique Identity (Aadhar) card details.
You can fall victim to a very serious crime known as identity theft if these details fall in the hands of scammers. They can access your bank account illegally and wipe out your savings.
If you are serious about working from home, search for jobs from top employers on reputed recruitment portals in India. Generally, respected websites display the name of an employer or an employment agency that is posting the work-from-home job vacancy. Thus, you can check the credentials of the employer.
Never respond to posters pasted on poles, at railway stations and bus stands offering work-from-home jobs. Putting up such posters itself is a crime in India. Above all, never give out your personal information, photos and bank details to any employer with dubious credentials.