There are many work at home opportunities involving writing that are legitimate and worthwhile, however there are a lot of scams out there too.
If you have decided to start working from home by writing online articles and blogs, the next step is to learn to recognize the scams and make sure they are avoided. Unfortunately, the internet has provided scam artists another avenue to con people out of money or to avoid paying for services rendered.
Before taking a job for writing online articles or blogs, there are some things to keep in mind to prevent getting ripped off.
Trust is hard to come by when you are working with a person face to face and the challenges of finding someone online to work for that will be honest and reputable can seem a little daunting. However, many opportunities are perfectly legitimate so as long as you are aware of some pointers for safety, you can be assured of making an income right from home with money going directly to PayPal or your bank account.
First and foremost, NEVER SEND MONEY!
Anytime a potential employer is asking you, the employee to send money for the privilege of working for them, it is a scam. It is sadly one that people have fallen for if they don’t educate themselves on proper procedures of working online. A reputable employer would never ask you to send your personal/banking information to begin working for them. This is simple common sense and yet there are people who aren’t familiar with how online jobs are supposed to operate that get fooled. The first mention of sending any money to get started should send you running in the other direction.
Another way scammers have used to get people to send articles without having to pay for them is to say that they need to see a ‘sample’ of the writing before they can finalize any contract for work. What is likely the case is that this person is having several other people provide one sample article and after collecting enough of them in this manner… there is the content for a website and no money had to be paid out. Now it is not unheard of for a client to ask to see a sample of your work, so if this is requested, check around to see if other writers have had to turn in a sample on the same subject or if there are variations. The latter likely means they are trying to pull a scam.
Watch out for writing job advertisements that claim to ‘hold’ your money until your earnings reach a certain amount. There will never be an opportunity to reach this amount and more times than not, the person simply gives up since the client will likely not be easily found. There may be excuses for holding money such as ‘operational costs’, but the fact is, there is no reason not to get paid through an online source such as PayPal immediately upon the completed negotiation.
Beware of any job offer online that offers to pay by the hour. Writing articles and blogs for website content are generally paid by the word since there is no way to honestly and accurately determine the amount of hours being worked unless it is an office situation. A client offering to pay you by the hour is either trying to scam you or is too inexperienced to have a clue what they’re doing. Either way, it’s a bad move to take any offer of paying by the hour.
Don’t settle for less than you are worth.
Most online writing jobs average between 2 and 4 cents for each word, so stick to a settled agreement on what is paid and get a deposit up front. There are some clients that will not want to do this – after all, this is often a case where both parties don’t know each other very well. However, there are many ways to safely deposit money, so clients need to be aware that it is standard practice to pay something up front. Also be wary of anything offering to pay larger amounts of money per word. This is not realistic and nine times out of ten is a scam.
When setting up contractual terms with a client, beware of anyone that does not want to give you their full contact information. Emails and IP addresses can be easily faked and if you do get ripped off, there would be no way of tracking the person down for compensation. Make sure the person gives their correct information and verify it either through calling the number or checking an online address and phone number tracking service.
Never fall for a ‘click this link’ scam. This is one that has been popular for a while and sadly many inexperienced bloggers will not see the immediate red flag. It starts with an offer to write a sample blog for which the blogger will receive a spectacular (and automated) review of their work. A link is then provided to click on for beginning assignments – a link that takes you to enough advertisements to choke a mule. You have just been sent to an ad site which makes the person whose behind it more money just by clicking on that link.
There are some clients that will advertise that they ‘pay on approval’, which is similar to the ‘sample blog’ scam. They will accept your entry with the promise to pay well if the content meets their standards. First of all – those standards will never be met because they were never intended to be. This is just another way to get people to send articles and blogs without getting anything for it and the scammer is set with free content to begin a website.
These are just some of the ways that people can become victims of getting ripped off online.
Anytime that you are doing business over the internet, you are taking a chance with someone that you have never met in person. However, that is not to say that all job opportunities online are a scam – a majority of them are legitimate opportunities. By simply doing some checking you can find out enough information about the person making the offer to find any red flags. And an honest potential client is going to willingly provide all of the information that you ask.
The best defense is a good offense, so don’t be afraid to question, research, and insist on at least a deposit before any work is begun. That is how it is supposed to be done, and anything saying otherwise is very likely wanting to rip you off.
Don’t let what could be a good opportunity to make money from home get soured from bad experiences.
Simply take the steps to avoid them from happening and you can be on our way to an online writing career!
Written by Angela Sangster, Copyright 2012 EarnMoneyAtHome.info