Yes, some say that it is easy to work from home and even more lucrative and rewarding to travel as a digital nomad. However, if you are really focused on remaining in the Top 10 tier class of remote talent, it is not as easy as many suggest. But, we digress. While it may be more convenient to work from home due to less commute time, less personal grooming and preparation, flexible schedules; it is highly likely that you could become the target of an internet scam because of the 13 hours you spend on the internet doing job related tasks.
Further, if you are a digital nomad traveling to remote parts of the world while working you can become a money targeted by those who are less fortunate.
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Or, you can also become a prized dupe if you don’t already hold a work from home, work from anywhere job and you are on the search for a remote work opportunity. Then too, if you are a digital nomad, you can become a victim of a global fraud ring. For this article, we will cover these three types of scams and they ways in which you can avoid getting entrapped by a fraudsters scheme.
We only accept for our featured listings; companies who pay us a fee. We only provide promotional services to employers we have verified as legitimate. We do this to keep our site clean and secure for our visitors.
Risk of Fraud Increases during Recessions
This doesn’t mean however that visitors should not do their own due diligence. Why?
Global economists suggest that a worldwide recession is here or on its way. FintechFutures advises that with economic downturns, fraud is sure to follow. They cite data from the World Bank forecasting less than 3% growth from 2023-2024.
Types of Frauds Schemes and Scams
And it’s not like there are just one or two scam businesses up and running online. They’re everywhere – and they all have one goal in mind – to separate you from your money. The Texas Attorney General reports that internet scams related to working from home and starting online businesses are on the rise and provided a simple list of popular scams:
- Advance Fee Scams
- Tech Support Scams
- Emergency Scams
- IRS or Government Imposter Scams
- Foreign Money Exchange Scams
- Counterfeit Cashier’s Checks
- Bogus Debts
But let’s talk about the other point to this article; job seekers on the remote job search for legitimate work from home jobs. Experian, one of the largest credit ratings and reporting company projects that these types of fraud will be on the rise:
- Fake deals, discounts, refunds and rebates to steal consumer identity
- Retail chargebacks
- Invoices intercepted and paid, but goods never arrive
- Investment scams to hedge against inflation
- Counterfeit products shipped due to supply chain shortages
- Fake jobs
As you can see, the promise of a job that does isn’t really a job makes the list. It’s disgusting, but the scammers already know their product or service has no value. What they bank on is that you don’t know the truth behind what they’re offering. If you go online and search for work-at-home scams and online business scams, you’ll feel overwhelmed at all of the pages and pages of results that pop up.
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Some of scammers promise readers the world, even the moon. Many say that for ‘just a one-time initial investment’ you can be on your way to the life of a millionaire. Some go as far as to promise you this life in a matter of days (not months or years).
So how do you know if it’s a legitimate offer? If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Don’t be gullible enough to fall for that easy and fast money lure. There is fast and easy money involved in this scam – yours. And it’s flowing from your pocket to theirs.
Tips for Avoiding Online Business Scams
As you see the list is vast. But, as the visitors to our site searcking for remote jobs and work from home job opportunities, we will focus solely on scams targeting job seekers and online entrepreneurs. It’s disgusting, but the scammers already know their product or service has no value. What they bank on is that you don’t know the truth behind what they’re offering. If you go online and search for work-at-home scams, you’ll feel overwhelmed at all of the results you see.
Suggestions to Avoid Online Business Scams can be found below.
- Do a Google search by typing in the name of the entity offering the investment opportunity. Also Google the name of the person, title, and the email address of the contact information provided. Ask yourself, do you really want to invest $100 or $500 in a comany that promises a high return when they can’t even afford an email address and only use a free email provider from Google or Yahoo?
- Scan the testimonials. Do a Google search on the names of the people referenced. Do they have a Linkedin or Crunchbase profile? Are their backgrounds legitimate. Do a Facebook search. Is the photo pictured legitimate? Was it produced by artificial intelligence? Do they have any followers or connections. Have they made legitimate posts, comments or likes? Have the testimonials been independently verified by a third-party?
- If they sell products on Etsy or Ebay, have you checked their ratings or reviews? What about the Better Business Bureau? Do they have a DUNS (Duns and Bradstreet) number?
- If they ask you to independently review a 15 minute or one-hour long video to become acquainted with their services on a no cost, no obligation basis, by all means do so. If during the presentation, they are constantly trying to sell you on something they haven’t yet fully explained, take a pass. When the presentation has a ratio of 9:1 selling versus explaining the details, take a pass. The opportunity presented should be the exact opposite.
- Avoid like the plague or Coronavirus anything which offers extremely high returns where you must sale products to your friends and family to break even. A legitimate business opportunity can sell itself without your need to pressure your relatives and loved ones.
- If an advertisement features beautiful people with expensive attire vacationing in exotic locations, check to see if the images are copyrighted or free (Pixabay, Unsplash, or Pexels). Either way, they were purchased or they were free and not images of actual people affiliated with the business opportunity. Stay away.
- If the website is listed in the advertisement, check the policies page. Look for the data privacy and the refund/return policies. Do they offer a money-back guarantee? If so, check on a Google search to see if people have tried to get their money back and haven’t. Play it smart and you’ll be richer for it.
Tips for Avoiding Work at Home Scams
Now that we have provided tips for avoiding most internet scams in general, we turn our attention to the specific work at from, work from home and remote job schemes.
Suggestions to Avoid Work-at-Home Schemes can be found below.
- Do a Google search by typing in the company name of the employing company offering a potential opportunity. Also Google the name of the person, title, an the email address of the contact information provided.
- Be wary of any ad or job listing does not require a resume or experience. Real jobs require appropriate skills, knowledge and experience.
- Ignore any job listing or advertisement that asks you to pay a fee to learn more. Legitimate jobs do not charge anything to learn more about job requirements.
- Avoid anything which offers extremely high salary or hourly wage without the requirement to work that takes effort. A legitimate work from home opportunity and online business venture are not get rich quick schemes.
- Get rid of all job listings or online business opportunities that arrive unsolicited in your email box. They want you to click the link to find out more information when you are most desparate. Remember, at your lowest point but you probably don’t really need them as must as they need you.
- If there is not a job description of any kind or the job description is inaccurate, it is highly likely that a job does not exist.
- If an advertisement posts lots of images with beautiful people, beaches, hotels, and exotic automobiles and SUVs, etc., it is most likely an effort to attract you to an MLM scam but not to an actual job!
- “Stuffing envelopes,” “Typing and Data Entry,” “Craft Assembly” (creating something with materials for which you pay), “Postal Forwarding” and “Check and Funds Processing” are all concepts worthy of additional scrutiny. Most are not what they seem and it is best, if these jobs are appealing, make sure that the employer is a Fortune 1000 company with a household brand name and solid reputation.
- If you are still unclear about determining whether a remote job or online business opportunity is legitimate, contact Rip-OffReport.com, ScamBusters.com, WebAssured.com, Scam.com, Federal Trade Commission, and the Better Business Bureau.
What should you do if you have fallen prey to internet scammers? If you become a victim of a work-at-home or internet scam, the first action to take is to contact the company and express your dissatisfaction. The next step is to ask the company for a refund. If they refuse or give you an evasive response, tell them you plan to notify law enforcement officials. And, if this still doesn’t work, contact your local state representative, congress person or senator.
What to do if you have been Scammed
As you contact the authorities, you must keep detailed records documenting all of the steps you took to recover your money. Document your phone calls, ask your phone company for your phone logs, keep copies of all paperwork such as letters and receipts, and record all costs involved, including the time you spend. If the company refuses to refund your investment, contact:
- Your local Better Business Bureau
- Your local or state Consumer Affairs agency
- The U.S. Postal Inspection Service
- Your state’s Attorney General’s office or the office in the state where the company is located
- Your local state representative (congressperson or senator)
- Federal Trade Commission at 202-382-4357
- National Fraud Information Center at 800-876-7060
- U.S. Postal Inspection Service
Types of Crime Targeting Digital Nomad
Finally, the US State Department advises Americans who work and travel abroad to take heed to avoid getting targeted by international fraud rings. Here are the types of international scams for which Americans and or other travelers and digital nomads from first world (mature economies) have succumbed.
- romance scam
- grandparent/relative scam
- drug trafficking scam
- lottery scam
Tips for Avoiding Crime as Digital Nomad
Suggestions to Avoid Digital Nomad complications while traveling can be found below.
- Research your travel destination, give your itinerary to a loved one and check-in often
- Refrain from making large dollar denominated transactions with vendors you do not know
- Purchase all of the high value items before embarking on your journey
- Whenever possible, do not travel alone; travel in groups
- Do not go to a party, leave or stay at a party unaccompanied by someone you do not intimately know and trust
- Be leery of answering the phone from an unrecognized phone numner while traveling internationally
- Keep your valuable jewels at home (stateside) or in your home country in a lockbox or secure safe
- Refrain from talking loudly in British English, American English or German, or Nordic languages
- Never send money to someone overseas if you have not met in person – especially if you have met only online.
- Do not divulge your personal details to anyone you do not know (in person, online, posted to social media, or over the phone)
- Refrain from renting any AirbnB location for which you do not have intimate knowledge of the owner
- Refer anyone claiming to be in distress to local authorities or the nearest embassy
- Do not agree to carry or courier someone elses belongings
What to do if you are a Victim of Crime
If you do encounter problems while working and traveling overseas on a temporary work visa, do the following:
- Visit the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Contact Overseas Citizens Services at 888-407-4747
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI at ic3.gov if you have been the victim of a scam.
- Report scams affecting seniors to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Aging Fraud Hotline at 1-855-303-9470 and read Fighting Fraud: U.S. Senate Aging Committee Identifies Top 10 Scams Targeting Our Nation’s Seniors.