You’re interested in becoming a virtual assistant, congratulations! Maybe you like the idea of setting your own schedule. Maybe you could use the extra income. Maybe you’d like to be a work at home parent so you can watch over your little ones. Whatever your reason, you know you want to become a virtual assistant. The good news is there are plenty of clients out there looking for a helpful VA.
Unfortunately, every industry has job scams and the virtual assistant one is no exception. Scammers are always looking for new VAs to take advantage of. Here are some warning signs to help you determine if you are dealing with a scammer:
There Are No Details
You stumble upon a job listing for a virtual assistant. You can follow the instructions and apply for the job, but then you notice that you don’t actually know what you’ll be doing because the job offer never states that information. Hmmm….
Usually, this type of job scammer spends a lot of time talking about what a “great” job this and how you can have a flexible schedule if you’re hired. Yet you can’t get a description of what tasks you’ll be expected to do and even when you ask about it, you don’t get a clear answer.
The Pay is Too High
This type of job scammer is looking to exploit a new VA that isn’t familiar with the industry yet. They’re hoping that you won’t read the job offer and that you’ll only focus on the dollar signs.
While it would be nice to earn $45/hour for just entering data in Excel sheets, it’s not common. You should always question job offers that pay too well, especially if these offers use phrases like “perfect for stay-at-home moms and students” or “no experience required”.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 🙂
The “Company” Asks for Too Much Information
Scammers are well-known for asking for too much personal data, which often includes your banking account number and other financial information. They may start out by telling you that you’re perfect for the job and that you’ll be starting soon. Then they start asking for your information.
It’s natural to get excited when you’re offered a job. But take a few minutes and do your research. Go to a search engine and enter the company name plus the word scam or job scam, like this “Company Name + Scam” (without quotes). Dig past the first page results and make sure this is really a legitimate company.
No Interview Required
Most legitimate clients will want to interview you at some point – whether it’s a Skype video chat or an old fashioned telephone call. Potential clients want to get a feel for your personality so they know if they’ll enjoy working with you.
By contrast, scammers don’t usually require interviews. If they do “interview” you, it might be over an internet messaging service where you never see them face to face or hear their voice. They do this so you won’t have any way to report them once they’ve scammed you.
Above all, listen to your own instincts. If something sounds fishy, it probably is.
Remember that the virtual assistant industry is filled with thousands of potential clients that are legitimate business owners and genuinely want to work with you. It’s just a simple matter of finding and connecting with the right clients.
How do you sort through job offers to protect yourself from scammers? Have you ever encountered an online job scam? Share with us in the comments or come join us in the free Facebook group.