We all want to make more money. Seeing as how wage growth has slowed, many of us have turned to moonlighting on the side. And since there is a rise in people looking for work on the side, there is a rise of companies advertising openings.
Unfortunately, not all of these companies are trustworthy. Many are actually scams that promise you the world but then never deliver in the end. I remember when I was younger I fell for the envelope stuffing scam. I spent weeks stuffing envelopes and never saw a dime.
So to save you from a lot of hard work and not getting paid, I am going to share with you 4 tips to help you know if a job opportunity is legit or if it is a scam.
4 Tips To Know If A Job Is A Scam Or Legit
#1. Upfront Payment
The number one way to know if a job is a potential scam is if they ask for money upfront. The majority of legit companies will not have you pay first in order for you to start working. One example I remember is paying for a uniform.
Every company that I worked for that required a uniform either gave one to me for free or if I had to pay for it (or even an extra uniform) it was taken out of my first paycheck. It was never pre-paid by me.
Now, you shouldn’t dismiss every job offer that has you pay first. I know many opportunities online that you have to pay in order to get some specialized training. In these cases, it is individuals teaching you the skills you need and then you go out on your own and make money as a sole proprietor.
These are not all scams. Many of these are legit. But you have to do your homework to tell the good from the bad.
#2. Overly Pushy
Another red flag when it comes to job scams are overly pushy contacts. If someone continues to pester you even though you said no, then chances are it’s a scam. I have never had a legitimate company call me over and over after I turned down a job. If this happens to you, stop answering their calls or hold your ground. Otherwise you are going to get scammed out of money.
Another related red flag is when you see opportunities online. You will read sales pages on websites promoting a position. If the page tries too hard to convince you to join now, it is a red flag. Or if when you click off the page, it asks you if you really want to leave, it could be a scam.
I’ve found that the legit jobs out there don’t overly sell the position or product. They simply present it, show its benefits, and let you make the final decision.
#3. It’s Illegal
There are many job opportunities out there online that are flat out illegal. You probably know many jobs that are illegal, but there are many more that are cropping up that you might be unaware of.
Before you do anything, check to see if the company is registered with the Better Business Bureau. If you are still skeptical, do an online search to see if others have complaints or stories. Just try to keep things in perspective.
We tend to vent more when we are upset so it is only natural to see more negative reviews than positive reviews for things. Just remember that many times, people are expecting to get rich quick and when that doesn’t happen, they get upset and complain.
#4. You Have To Recruit
This is a popular trait among multi-level marketing companies. You earn money by selling a product, but you are encouraged to bring in new recruits as well. For doing so, you are rewarded with a cut of their earnings.
While there is nothing wrong with getting a bonus or referral fee for bringing new people on board, it shouldn’t be the main goal. In other words, the goal should be selling a product or service. If you are encouraged to recruit new members more than you are encouraged to sell items, you should run.
I remember this happening to my friend and me. We were fresh out of college and looking to make some extra money. We went to an event where we learned about this awesome opportunity. It sounded good, so we were put in touch with a person who came to our house to talk more.
While we were selling household products, all he talked about was bringing in new people and how much money we would earn from their sales. There was no talk about the products. We ended up not joining.
Looking back, even the initial event was scammy. It was all about how successful people were. Pictures of mansions, yachts and living the good life is what we saw on the screen. They really never talked about the business, they only make you think this was an easy way to get rich. It goes back to my point about being overly pushy.
There are many ways you can make extra money. Sadly there are scams in the bunch. Since the goal is to make money and not get scammed out of it, you need to do some research first. Following these 4 tips is a good start.
At the end of the day though, you have to make the decision. Just remember the old saying, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Author Bio: Jon blogs at Penny Thots, a personal finance blog that helps readers improve their finances one day at a time.