Unsure if a New Remote Work Opportunity is Legit? Here’s How You Can Tell

August 30, 2022 | Security | Virtual Agents | Blog
recruiting red flags and scams

Anyone who has spent time on social media within the past few years can attest to the rising number of bots, fake accounts, and online scams disguised as legitimate work opportunities. Thankfully, if you’ve been on the internet for any extended length of time, many of these spam profiles are easily identifiable.

The problem arises when these fake accounts disguise their true intentions behind a trusted name or face. Scrolling through my email spam filter on any given day, I see plenty of messages from sources claiming to be recognizable organizations. These messages either promise a ‘too good to be true’ coupon or ask me to ‘confirm my password’ lest a package I never ordered never arrives at my doorstep.

These spam messages will attempt to grab your attention with calls to action such as ‘claim your gift card,’ assuming that you’ll never think twice as to why a company is randomly sending you hundreds of dollars worth of vouchers.

Hiding an illegitimate message behind a recognizable brand name is nothing new, but the more sophisticated and efficient scams often masquerade as smaller organizations—and even specific individuals within smaller organizations—to prey upon those looking for new remote work opportunities. With more and more virtual opportunities becoming available each day, predatory scammers are discovering more avenues to target those who may not conduct their own due diligence regarding the actual remote opportunities offered by a specific organization.

But taking extra caution when exploring new remote work opportunities is more important now than ever before. Below, we have outlined some tell-tale signs that can signal an illegitimate work opportunity, as well as a few strategies for avoiding these scammers altogether.

Be Wary of Opportunities from Social Media

If someone is posting an opportunity on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, be sure to be extra cautious. A direct message from someone claiming to represent an organization on one of these platforms is a common red flag, especially if this message comes out of the blue.

When in doubt, always ask job recruiters for their official company email, as well as an official listing of the opening on the company website. If a recruiter cannot provide job information directly from the company website, or official LinkedIn company page, these messages are best left ignored.

Contacting another company representative about these messages can not only confirm suspicions but also inform the company that their brand is being co-opted by bad actors.

Never Share Personal Information on an Unsecure Platform

One of the primary goals of an online scammer is to receive personal information, such as passwords, social security numbers, and financial details. A legitimate recruiter will never ask you to share any of this information at such an early stage in the hiring process.

As a general rule, never share critical personal information on unsecured platforms such as social media sites or messaging apps, and never give a company this information until after you have spoken to a confirmed representative of the company and have been offered an official position.

Keep in mind that whether the platform is secure or not, it is never a good idea to share your password with anyone.

Pay Attention to the Smaller Details

When dealing with recruiters remotely, be sure to scrutinize the smaller details that may go overlooked. A few common red flags for illegitimate job recruiters often include:

  • Numerous typos in the body of the message.
  • An email address that does not match other company email addresses.
  • A job description that does not reflect your unique skills or experience.
  • A generic job description that lacks specificity and is unclear about the job role and responsibilities.
  • An urgent request that pressures you into sharing personal information without time for you to do your due diligence.

Don’t Be Fooled by False Promises

Often, illegitimate job recruiters will make salary promises that seem too good to be true. That’s because they are. These illegitimate recruiters will at times, dangle an unrealistic starting salary, signing bonuses, and other job benefits in an attempt to get people to overlook the finer details that give them away as predatory individuals.

Another common scam is to send a (fake) check to job hopefuls and ask them to urgently deposit it. Receiving money before you have completed any verification is a red flag, especially if there is pressure to deposit it quickly, or send funds back to the recruiter.

Do your research and determine what the typical salary and benefits are for a role within the company being advertised. If the pieces don’t line up, and especially if the ‘job recruiter’ tells you they are willing to go forward with the hiring process without a resume, application, or professional references, then the opportunity is questionable.

Always Go Directly to the Source and Verify

Even when everything about a recruitment message looks right on the surface, always consider reaching out to the parent company directly to ask another representative about the opportunity. If a company is not easily found online, consider that another serious red flag. Businesses that lack a website or even a proper social media presence should always be heavily scrutinized.

Thanks to online resources such as the Better Business Bureau, anyone with an internet connection should be able to find out more about a business or organization through your own independent research.

To discover more resources to help you identify a work-from-home scam, as well as to learn more about what an illegitimate offer from a bad actor pretending to be Liveops representative may look like, click here.

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Jordan Lurie

Jordan Lurie is a content writer focused on the business world, legislation, and the economy. He aims to help provide growing businesses with the insights and tools needed to succeed in a competitive marketplace.