When you are working at home as a freelancer, one of the most difficult tasks you need to do is look for new clients and jobs.
Making this process as efficient as possible is very important because the time you spend looking for jobs, writing applications and answering clients’ questions is time that you are not getting paid. Of course, it is an investment in future paychecks so it is vital that you do your best in these endeavors. One way to make this process more efficient is to avoid losing time with scam offers.
Typical features of scam job offers:
- Job conditions are great and the process to be hired is extremely simple.
Yes, it is true that you are probably the best freelancer in the world, your personality is very attractive and every client that knows your name is anxious to hire you. But take into consideration that if the work conditions are really that good, there are thousands of people interested in this job, so you could expect a long hiring process.
Some of these clients say things like, “I am overloaded with work,” “I need you because you are in the XXX country and I want to expand my business,” and “I need you because you look reliable.” I have no doubt that you are, but I am sure that there are many people with these skills, so why doesn’t your client spend any time to get to know you better?
- They ask you for data such as your phone number, credit card number, physical address, and they don’t share their own data with you.
- They don’t have a website, or the website is so poor that you can’t believe their workers are being paid at all.
- They speak very poor English even though they are based in the UK or US.
- They are in a rush to hire you, always asking you to agree to each step.
- They ask you for an online interview in a chat platform like Yahoo or MSN. Skype is a much more likely venue for serious clients, although not a guarantee.
- They want to send products to your home. Don’t you think that they could rent a post office box for about $50 instead of paying you $1600 to do practically nothing?
What could you do to minimize the risks?
- If they are a foreign client, it may be difficult for your country’s to help you, but a good idea is to ask for a contract (signed by hand, not with a drawing made with Paint).
- Research them on the Internet. If you don’t find them, this is a very bad signal. Some companies have a commercial name, which means maybe you won’t find the company name in the top of the website, but it should appear in the T&C page of their commercial name website.
- NEVER SEND MONEY to buy training materials.
- Ask for an advance payment for the first month or the first 15 days.
- Always research the legal responsibilities of your work. If you have to interact with products, what happens if you receive something broken?
- If you are in doubt, don’t take it. It’s better to be poor than to lose money on a scam.
Do you have any other useful advices?