How to determine telecommute, business opportunity and fraud advertising when job seeking

Original article was published in Omaha Examiner, Career Section: February 27, 2013. 
Many companies these days are hiring for telecommuting positions legally however there are very sly advertisers who are attempting to pull in telecommuters in need of a job when in actuality these jobs are positions that they must be paid to obtain. The legality, these jobs are either 1) a fraud or 2) a business opportunity.

Because these advertisements are appearing more often on the Internet more creatively written it is important to know how to determine legal from illegal. The best way to avoid a fraud or a business opportunity is closely read the advertisement. Answer the following questions before filling out any application or sending your information:

–        Is there a terms of conditions, if so read through and look for sales information

–        Is there mention of self contractor anywhere in the advertisement, if so read all links as you are being asked you to become an individual contractor (work for yourself) not as an employee for the company.

Business opportunity and fraud advertisements are now using the words “work at home” when writing their job postings. It is very important to pay close attention to what is written in the actual advertisement itself before applying. For example, an advertisement appears online like the one below only showing an email, no phone number, it is not trustworthy:

“Seeking a virtual assistant who knows MS Outlook and MS Excel. Contact Phil at your earliest time with a resume at the below email”

On the other hand, another advertisement appears very similar except with this case, it has more detail and shows things like the company name, company phone number, direct email, and direct person name there is a high chance that advertisement is of legal quality. Look at the difference:

We are in need of a virtual assistant for our office in Arizona. XZY Company is in need of someone who knows Microsoft Outlook, can work with Microsoft Excel, and maybe perform a few things with Adobe Document Reader from time to time. If this is something you can handle please send Phil Anderson your resume with a cover letter saying why you would be good for this job. Mr. Anderson’s email address is Should you have questions, please contact our office at 888-349-0933.

Even though both advertisements are mock job postings written for this article the author’s point of showing the difference is to clearly state how advertisements can have an impact and reaction to readers.


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