How to tell the difference between real jobs and scams online
The internet is a big place, especially if you're looking for work... So many different options! How many of those options are actually legitimate though? It's important to know how to tell the difference between a real job and a scam while you're searching before sending anybody money or your personal information.
One way to do this is by going through one of the bigname sites for contracting and freelance work... The places that your payment goes through the website instead of person to person and the rating systems weed out spammers pretty quickly.
But, of course, not all the jobs you might want are on these sites... So what about all these other postings and websites offering cash?
For one, most legitimate companies do NOT ask for money upfront for you to start. It's one thing if it's Avon or Scentsy or something like that where they have to send you products to start selling. They can't just give that away for free else no one would buy... We'd all be “representatives” with free Scentsy's lol. But the companies that you've not heard of who ask for money to train or to show your commitment, you can usually just forget it. Western Union? NOPE. That's a great way to not get your money back, even if it is a scam.
Googling the name of just about any company will provide you with results about its legitimacy. If the company is bigger, I like to go to sites like GlassDoor (for any job, online or not, really) where employees post legitimate reviews of what it's like to work for the company. There's usually a lot of good info there. But “such-and-such company scam” will normally pull up any bad reviews from other people who may have gotten duped. It can save a lot of headache.
Also, keep in mind what work you'll be doing, how valuable it is, and what the pay is. That's not to say there aren't jobs that pay really well on the good ol' internet... There definitely are! But if the offer is something like work one hour a week browsing on the internet.... make 10 thousand a month! It's probably crap. If the job requires a good skill-set and experience, a bit of time and effort, and they offer 10k a month... It might be legit, real job and from a generous person willing to pay for quality work! Just don't give them money upfront or your very personal details.
As other mamas have said, avoiding pyramid schemes is probably a good idea too.
If the company is new, it might be worthwhile to take a chance! As long as you are safe and smart about it, there are lots of opportunities out there. You WILL find one that works well for you if you just keep looking and especially if you keep learning. One thing I've found is that having multiple skills and not putting your eggs all in one basket, so to say, is super helpful when it comes to online jobs. You may find yourself doing work for a company that you never signed up for, increasing your value and job experience! Just put yourself out there and see what happens. :)
Oh, and a lot of jobs you can ask for partial payment upfront to make sure they're serious.
What other methods do you use?