For many years, moms have been desperately searching for legitimate ways to make money from home without having to put their children in child care. While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of legit opportunities available, there are equally the number of scammers waiting to prey on unsuspecting newcomers.
It is so important in your remote job search to learn the red flags that indicate a potential scam while at the same time learning what a legitimate opportunity looks like. In today’s post, we hope to help you with both!
Fake Work-From-Home Jobs: What to Watch Out For
There are two main things scammers are after (1) your personal information that can be used to obtain credit — name, birthday, address, social security number — and (2) direct access to your banking information.
Year after year, there are a few very common job scams to watch out for:
Perhaps you are old enough to remember envelope-stuffing schemes. In this setup, you were often asked to pay a small startup fee in order to obtain the mailing addresses of people to whom you would mail a letter. That letter was typically enticing them to pay the same small fee to mail the same letters to even more people. This is what’s called a pyramid scheme and it’s highly illegal.
Technology has allowed the simplest of schemes to become more complex and far more dangerous to victims. What we often see today are called “reshipping scams.” In this scenario, you may be hired as a shipping director or even a gift wrapper. Products arrive at your doorstep, you repackage them and send them on their way to their final destination. The scam? These are often fraudulent purchases using a victim’s credit card unknowingly. When the victim finds out and reports it, the cops arrive at YOUR door. And the person that “hired” you probably used a fictitious name and address. They are never to be found and you have a lot of explaining to do to authorities.
Check Cashing Scams
Perhaps the most common work-from-home job scam is a check cashing con. Here, a scammer will offer you a great job — most often with the best pay and hours you have ever heard of! They are also going to send you a check to “pay for your equipment.” Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, it is.
What happens is that you receive a check, let’s say for $1,500. You are supposed to cash it, buy your equipment and send them the remaining money back. You do all of this and then a few days later your bank lets you know that the initial check has bounced. So now they take $1,500 out of your account, plus fees, to cover the bounced check. You have also paid for the equipment in the interim — let’s pretend that’s another $700 out of your bank account. AND, you sent the scammer back $800 that was “remaining” from the original check. You are now out $3,000 plus bank fees. The scammer has made $800 in free money and will never be found.
Another fraud we see every day is the simple old phishing scam. This is nothing more than getting you to hand over your personal information. In most cases, the scammer poses as a legitimate company offering you an interview. Frequently they want you to hop on a chat platform such as Facebook Messenger or Google Hangout, somewhere where it will be almost impossible for you to know who you are actually chatting with or where they are located.
During this chat session, you will be offered a fake job but you need to provide your personal information NOW. They may want your banking information, Social Security number, birthday, etc. This is stuff you would normally need to provide before starting a job, but this is certainly NOT the way a legitimate company obtains it.
If you ever feel pressured into doing something that your spidey senses tell you is suspect, back out of the conversation and take a breather. Contact the company the possible scammer is posing as and ask for confirmation that it is truly them you are speaking with.
And, remember. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers often choose the easiest jobs to target, often data entry work, as new job seekers are frequently looking for a home mom job that doesn’t require being on the phone and lets you work whenever your attention-demanding kid will allow. They also count on you being so busy and distracted that your guard may be down.
Trustworthy Job Boards With Legitimate Work-From-Home Mom Jobs
Luckily, there’s no shortage of remote job opportunities to choose from these days. Knowing where to look to find them will likely be your first stumbling block. A few popular legit online job boards include:
Even on the most reputable job boards, you need to keep your eyes open for the occasional scam. With the exception of FlexJobs, after all, most job boards do not provide an extensive vetting process before an opportunity can be listed. It’s up to you to do your due diligence.
Companies That Offer Work From Home Jobs That Are Perfect for Moms
- Amazon occasionally hires home-based customer service reps
- BELAY offers the opportunity to become a virtual assistant
- LiveOps hires part-time telecommute customer service and sales agents
- TELUS International offers non-phone work, which can be a dream mom job
- VIPKid has an online tutor position to those with a bachelor’s degree in any subject
- Williams-Sonoma hires customer service representatives seasonally
- Working Solutions is another big name in the customer service industry
- TTEC offers legitimate work globally
- LanguageLine Solutions could be a great home job if you are bilingual
- TranscribeMe offers transcription positions to those with a keen ear and great typing skills
- Pearson hires seasonal educational scorers
- CVS Health hires customer service reps to work remotely
- Enterprise Holdings offers job seekers opportunities in customer service and sales
- Achieve Test Prep has remote work that includes customer service, appointment setting, online instructors, and more
Even with the big company names mentioned above, you need to stay diligent. Many scammers will pose as a legitimate company to capture the personal information of an eager job seeker. Make sure any correspondence you receive is from the actual company website, not a Gmail address, differently spelled name, etc.
Also see: Will my homeowner’s insurance cover working from home?
And if you receive an offer for a job you never applied for, it’s best to click the delete button. So many people are looking for a home job there is really no reason for a company to ever have to reach out to people on their own. Scammers expect you to let your guard down if you’re flattered by an unexpected offer from a big company.
House Rules to Help Make Working From Home Easier
Once you find a legitimate job, it’s time to make sure it succeeds. This can be more difficult than it sounds. Many newcomers find working from home is actually more difficult than working in an office. You have so many more distractions. A few little tips and tricks to help make working from home easier:
Establish regular working hours. If your children are at home during the day, this may be after they go to sleep or during naptime or regular playdates.
Set ground rules. Let those in your home and regular disruptors outside of your home like family and friends know when and how to get your attention if absolutely necessary.
Dedicate a space for working. This is where you can put all of those things other people should not touch or move. It’s also where you will know you can work without interruption.
Have a separate email and phone number for your home job. Emails can get out of control in an instant if you have everything from online shopping to family and friends to work stuff funneled into one bucket. Gmail addresses are free. Set up one that you only use for job applications and work-related correspondence. A landline you can give out isn’t a bad idea either. It may even be required for your online job.
Disconnect. Just as it can be difficult for your family to learn when you can’t be interrupted while at work, you also need to train yourself to not be interrupted BY work when you are with your family. The work life balance struggle is real when you work from home. It’s imperative you have time to decompress after working from home.
Finding the Right Stay at Home Mom Job Makes It All Worthwhile
Finding a legit online job can be daunting at first. But the road to becoming an at-home working parent is truly worth it! Watch out for scams and stick with it — you’re sure to find a position that works with your family’s needs.
Get more inspiration
The Best Stay-At-Home Mom Jobs for 2022
Work From Jobs for Moms: Opportunities That Are Flexible and Fun
5 Legit Side Hustles for Moms