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How to Identify Legitimate Remote Job Listings and Avoid Scams

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Remote jobs are a buzzword in today’s business world. The flexibility provided by technology to work when and where you like is a tantalizing offer for many people nowadays, and for good reason. Even if your current lifestyle does not allow for you to sit poolside in the Bahamas while you check your emails, the prospect of just having more free time to spend with family and friends rather than be stuck in traffic is a goal some people are starting to shoot for.

Nearly two-thirds of the world’s workforce around the world today take advantage of the opportunity to work out of the office at least once a week. 50% of employees globally spend time working outside of the office, at least two and a half days a week. Being that nearly 80% of people, when given the choice between similar employment offers, would choose a position that offers more flexibility of their schedule companies should take notice.

A business that understands the new needs and wants of their employees enough to then extend the offer of this new hybrid, work-from-home jobs have seen a marked boost in employee productivity, longer talent retention, and lower operating costs. The numbers are a win all around.

Remote jobs are a buzzword in today's business world. The flexibility provided by technology to work when and where you like is a tantalizing offer for many people nowadays, and for good reason.Click To Tweet

As with any new idea, however, it is not just honest, hard working people and businesses that tend to capitalize. Scammers have gotten in the game as well. The opportunity for new and clever ways to try and swindle people out of their personal information will always be tempting for criminals. The heightened excitement that can come from clickbait associated with a potential remote job offer makes easy prey for unsuspecting people.

Just because there are more scams, and now the potential to be caught up in a deceptive job offer, does not mean that a search for legitimate positions should be discarded. With some basic tips, wisdom, and the knowledge of how to avoid the entrapments of scam artists using remote job propositions to fool people into giving away personal information, anyone can avoid the tragic traps. Here are some things to watch out for in order to avoid being scammed while looking for legitimate remote job listings.

Red Flags of Job Scams

The Unsolicited Job Offer

This first situation may seem a bit obvious to some, but when faced with months’ worth of searching without any luck, pressure can start to cause people to jump at almost any offer. That is why unsolicited job offers need to be vetted out. While unexpected job offers can be flattering and encouraging, extra steps should be taken to research just who exactly may be reaching out with an offer. Scammers tend to make an offer sound too good to be true— enticing salaries, great benefits, company perks— any number of things can get the heart pumping with hope and enthusiasm.

What needs to be remembered though, is that most if not all legitimate jobs will ever contact someone with an offer right away. There is a reason for the cycle of submitting resumes, going through interviews, and waiting for references to come back: companies want to protect themselves as much as anybody else. The same wariness and so type of background research should be done by you, the potential employee.

Salaries That Are Just Too Good to Be True

No one is immune to the endorphin rush that comes from seeing a large salary, especially when it may be a significant increase from what you’re making now. Everyone wants to feel valued, and deserves adequate compensation, but actually finding that dream job with an unusually high salary is uncommon for a reason: it might be fake. Doing some basic research to see what the spectrum of salaries is in the matching field will give you a better idea if the job offer is real.

Such information is very easy to find nowadays online. Taking those facts and then weighing it honestly against your skills and experience will help to temper that urge to click on a baited email link. Which brings us to the next point: validating email addresses. 

Real Email

One of the first and easiest ways to verify the legitimacy of a job offer is through the email address. Taking a closer look at the information as it shows up after the “@” sign can tell you a lot about where an email may originate from.

Simply checking to see if the email address matches the URL of the company website provided is a good step. Even taking the same text and doing a web search can help you determine if the company is real or fake. If the website matches, you may be on the right track, and while a good sign, that’s not enough to be safe. More needs to be learned.

Ask Questions

If an unexpected job offer has shown up in your email inbox you already have the ability to start a conversation. Being that they have reached out to you, you now have the power to ask clarifying questions to continue to affirm the honesty or deception of an offer. A great place to start is asking where and how a company got a hold of your contact information.

Email addresses and phone numbers are no longer as private as one might hope they would be, being that nearly every social media platform or basic account requires both. As such, that basic information is readily available for scammers to find on the internet. Until the contact can give you a good reason for why and how they found your personal information, keep your guard up. If satisfied with those reasons, move on to more specific questions. Ask about the job position itself, making note of any possible inconsistencies. If answers begin to sound vague or different from the initial offer, walk away. Whatever answers are given can be used to do more detailed digging.


Verifying the Details

Details matter in every situation, but can be critical in verifying the truth of a job offer. First, try to find the job offer on other websites. Job posting platforms like Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed all tend to be a funnel point for the same jobs.

Finding the same listings multiple times between the platforms is a good sign, but it is not enough to be totally safe, that’s why reaching out to the company in question and inquiring about the feasibility of the job is a great next step. Even going so far as to ask for the full name and a picture of the contact you have been communicating with can be used to fact check against social media and company profiles.


With the steady rise in popularity of hybrids, remote job roles are becoming more common.  The opportunities found through executive networking groups, job postings, and just calling up friends and family can point anyone towards a potential new job. With this increase of availability for exciting new remote positions, scammers have taken to using such information in new scams. Protecting yourself during the job search can be easily accomplished so long as you know what to look for.

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