Hello! Welcome to my blog. This is officially my first post and I hope that you readers will find this helpful.
Initially, I was going to write a post on 10 ways to shorten your morning daily routine. However, something happened recently that I think more people need to know about. And, that is how to spot a scam.
One of the realities of being a freelancer is that you find a lot of your jobs online with people that you do not know. Kind of like online dating, you don't always know what...or who... you are going to get. You have to be cautious when accepting these jobs because some sound almost too good to be true...
Before I begin, though, I want to say this. I do know that there may be some people who will read this, who will think, "How could someone fall for an obvious scam?" To some people, this sounds like an amazing opportunity that will prove that all the hard work they are putting in is finally paying off. That's exactly what it sounded like to me when I first saw it. And that's what these scammers prey on. So, before there is a rush to judgment, this is to spread awareness so it doesn't happen to anyone else.
And, I am coming from a place of experience, I want other people to learn from this. Thankfully, I noticed that it was fake before anything bad happened or any information was released, but someone else might not be as lucky. Hopefully, this can prevent that.
How to Spot a Fake Job
1. Offering large sums of money
I don't want this to be a downer, but if they offer you an outrageous sum of money for the work that you're doing, it is probably a scam. This is not to say that there aren't legitimate jobs out there that have a great pay. What I am saying is that if the pay is not proportionate to the degree of work that you are doing, then it is most likely a scam.
This happened to me where I was offered an insane amount of money, which was all I could see. I saw that dollar amount and I was like, "YES! SIGN ME UP PLEASE!" I didn't really stop to process what they were offering. They were offering me thousands of dollars for 5 hours of work a day, doing beauty makeup on models. That should have been a red flag from the beginning.
Once I settled down from the shock, I read the message more clearly.
In the beginning, it sounded legit. However, I did have my reservations. I remember reading it over and thinking, "Is this actually real?" But then I talked myself out of those negative thoughts by thinking instead, "If it is fake, why would they put all of this effort into it?" And believe me, it was a lot of effort for a scam. I'm talking extremely detailed emails with confidentiality notices at the bottom, an actual fashion designer whom I researched, a website, and others. Everything seemed legitimate...
2. Sending you money before you have done any work
If they offer to send you a portion of the money before you have even done the work, then you should start to feel a little suspicious. Not always, but if you are getting an bad vibe, then I would listen to it.
I was offered a portion of my total payment before even doing any work as sort of a guarantee that I'd be available for the job. Again, in the beginning, I didn't see a problem because that does happen, especially with bigger budget jobs, but what I should have realized was that there was no contract detailing the terms of payment.
Especially with that kind of money, I should have been adamant about signing a contract before any sort of money was exchanged.
Ask for more details. Question them. Make sure they have a written contract.
3. Asking you to send money to another person
Red flag #3... How it was pitched to me was that they were lumping my deposit and the funds for the wardrobe stylist together into one check. Then, once I received that check, I would deduct my portion out and send the remainder to the stylist. Such a huge red flag... NEVER SEND MONEY TO SOMEONE YOU DO NOT KNOW.
Thank god it didn't get that far because when I read that detail, I started doing a little research to see if there were any known scams like this.
Turns out, there were. It is known as "Advance Fee Fraud", "419 scams", or originally, the "Niger