Scam Samples { Bonus Chapter for Virtual Careers Book }

So you have found yourself exploring the exciting world of virtual career aka “work from home”. You’re so excited for this new found opportunity of actually earning lots of money without having to leave your family. The idea is so great that you rush joining freelancing sites and applied for as many jobs as you can. Among the many applications you sent, you received a reply from one “client” saying you are hired for the job without interviewing you. He just asked you to pass a certain test – to write a 1000 – word article about a certain topic. Because you are excited about working from home, you gladly obliged and submitted the article you worked overnight. Then, you never heard from the client again. You just got scammed!


Virtual careers are becoming so popular today. And so as online career scams. How could you tell if the opportunity is legit or not? Here are some of the most common scams that virtual professionals must be wary off:

Paying Fees Before You Start

Pay First 2

Asking you to pay before you can actually start the job is a big NO! Why would you need to pay before you can work? It should be the other way around.

Free Sample

Free sample 5

Scammers will require you to submit a sample of your work when you apply. These could range from articles written on certain topics the client indicate to images based on what the client wants like the example above. Once you submit your sample, they would ran away and you have given them free work.

Receive Check, Encash it and Wire the Money Back

money laundering

A financial assistant job sounds cool but at all cost, avoid this kind of job that requires you to receive check payment, have it encashed locally and then wire the money back. This is a scam and you could fall into a money laundering scheme.

No Contract


If a client asked you to work without a contract, reject it. A contract is you and your client’s protection. It stipulates terms and conditions that you must both agree with. Without it, each of you could easily run away

Interview via Instant Messaging

interview via im

When an interview is to be done via instant messaging – meaning by chatting through any messaging application, chances are the job is a bogus one. Clients will do interviews via calls because of course, they would want to see if you’re a real person.

Pay is Too Low

too low 3

Though not all jobs which pay low is a scam, you must better avoid it. Would you write a well written 550 – word article for just $1? You’re worth more than that!

Answer this Survey and We’ll Pay You

Survey, woking before hired

Another scam is asking you to answer paid – surveys like this one. The reality is that they won’t pay you but would just take your precious time to accomplish their surveys. They have done it with thousands of other clueless people and accomplished their goal freely.

Phishing for Personal Information


If a job requires you to submit sensitive personal information like your bank account number, be wary. The client is not interested to hire you but to get your personal information he/she might use for other illegal purposes.

Poorly Written Job Advertisement

poor grammar2

Definitely, some ads may have grammatical errors. But it is different from an ad that is poorly written, you can barely understand what it meant. Be skeptic on the way the job advertisement is written- check grammar, spelling and even capitalization.

Cancel Project/Disappearing Client

disappearing client

It is not only freelancers who disappear or cancel their jobs, scammers also do. Sometimes, “client” disappears in the midst of the project. Others do right after the hiring process just like the above example. Good thing, no work is done yet.

Too Good to be True

too good to be true

Stay away from offers that are too good to be true like the one above. Who would pay you 1,000 Euro just for signing up? Definitely not a legit client with a legit job for you.

Revenue Sharing


A client asks you to do some tasks related to his business and promised to pay you a percentage of the revenue once it has been successful. But guess what? You’ll never know if it has been successful because you’ll never hear from him again.

Endless Editing

endless editing

The client always finds errors in the job you do and asks you to make countless revisions until you just gave up – either you gave him a discounted rate or just ended your contract with him even without him paying you.



So you receive your pay as a check, but it is more than the amount you agreed upon. The client asked you to encash it and wire the overpayment to another account. This is another money laundering scheme.

You’re Hired Now

hired now

If you were hired by just sending your application and without going through at least one of the application steps, chances are this job is not real. A client will take some time to get to know the person he/she will be working with.

CAPTCHA Encoding


Definitely, this is a scam that would require unsuspecting virtual professional to enter characters that match the CAPTCHA system. CAPTCHA are usually used when you create an email account. Thus, the scammer will be able to create thousands of email addresses they can use for spamming or other illegal purposes, thanks for your help.

Paid Lower than Your Rate

paid lower

You signed a contract, however, you no longer read the entire content of it. Now, comes the problem. You’re client paid you lower than your rate. You complained, but he just showed you the contract you actually signed.

Reshipping of Items


The client’s task for you is to do reshipping of items to another country or person. Don’t get this job. It is a scam because the items are actually bought through stolen credit cards.

Anyone Can do the Job


Be wary of a job that requires no or zero experience at all. Even simple data entry job requires an experience. Most likely, this job that anyone can do is not a job at all.

Fake Companies

fake companies

Some scammers used fake email accounts and fake websites to offer fake jobs. Make sure to do your part on finding the validity of the sites or email accounts. If you found it suspicious, then reject the job offer.

Scams are rampant nowadays with the proliferation of online careers. In order to avoid getting scammed, make sure you do your assignment before accepting any job offer. Research about the company, observe how the application process works, make sure that your rights are protected and only accept jobs from legitimate clients.

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