More and more people are choosing to create wealth from the comfort of their homes. It’s a move that also helps them to strike a balance between the demands of their professional and personal lives. While it’s a potentially lucrative career move, there is also a risk of falling prey to job scams.
Here is a list of basic security checks to prevent this from happening:
1: Do not forget to conduct a WHOIS lookup
In order to avoid becoming a victim of unscrupulous activities, a WHOIS lookup is an absolute necessity on your part for tracing the owner of that particular domain. The result would inform you regarding the registrar, contact details, and the date of creation as well as expiry. Also ensure that you check for how long that domain has been active. If it has been in existence only for a few months, then there might be something fishy about it.
Do a bit of online research and try to accumulate as much information as you can, about your prospective employer. See if it tallies with the details provided to you by the company. Since scammers often tend to pose as renowned commercial organizations and misguide job seekers with fake URLs, you always got to cross check the URL of any company before deciding to proceed further.
2: Make a note of wrong spellings and grammatical errors
Fraudulent websites are usually recognized by a pathetic sense of grammar and spelling. Closely observe the language of e-mail communication. Is it full of construction errors or spelling mistakes? This frequently occurs when natives outside the U.S. attempt to communicate in English and present themselves as a big brand.
Another significant point pertaining to legitimacy that you should watch out for, is the email account of the recruiter. E-mails from genuine companies are usually sent from their respective corporate mail accounts, and not the free alternatives like Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo.
3: Verify the contact information provided to you
Absence of contact information such as the business location, e-mail id or telephone number on a website, is certainly one of the strongest indicators of a scam. In case these details are listed, make it a point to verify either by calling, or sending a mail.
- Beware if your calls repeatedly go unanswered during the business hours, or if you discover that the given number is no longer in service.
- Do determine whether the ‘create account’ or payment pages of the company website are secure. Most owners of fake websites do not invest in SSL certificates for securing the transfer of personal information.
- Remember, a legitimate site always displays ‘HTTPS’ on its URL, along with the lock icon.
4: Beware of recruiters who demand fees in advance on any grounds
Think twice before you part with your money. Paying money to be hired is completely unacceptable, and no employer offering genuine work would ask for any sort of payment in advance. Training expenses if any, are borne by the company itself.
5: Visit the official site of BBB and go through online reviews
Check out the websites of organizations such as the Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau. Go through the scam lists to ensure that the company offering you work is not fraudulent. Being offered an unrealistically high salary is another common way of getting duped.
Type in the domain name of the company website, and let the search engine come up with reviews of other people. Getting to know about the experiences of others through online reviews and articles, is essential for making a wise decision. For instance, FlexJobs, which happens to be one of the most highly recommended professional job services for those looking for flexible work, has been reviewed by Faith Stewart as a legitimate source of making money online from home.
Red alert – how can you protect your sensitive data from interception?
Here are a number of additional safety tips to keep in mind, in order to rev up your security in the virtual world:
- Be extremely cautious about divulging personal information or disclosing unique identity details, such as social security, passport, or driving license number.
- Set up a separate email account for job purpose.
- Activate antivirus scanners from time to time, update operating systems, and keep your hard drive backed up to minimize damage by malware.
- Opt for a credit monitoring service, and never ever reveal your security questions or passwords to anybody.
- Avoid storing your login information in the browser, particularly in the cases of shared computers.
Since a lion’s share of your personal and professional transactions takes place online, fraudsters use these as weapons for targeting unsuspecting individuals.