Unemployment for long periods of time can cause people who are desperate for work to try almost anything for a paycheck. Unfortunately there are many scam jobs out there. When hunting for employment, you need to see the signs before someone takes advantage of you.
Know a Pyramid Scheme When You See One
A pyramid scheme has two basic warning signs:
1) Paying to work
2) Commission based pay
Receiving commission based pay can be great in some fields. None of these are door-to-door sales. Products like knives or makeup are a common item chosen in pyramid schemes to sell. A good commission based sales job will involve something people come to you for, not the other way around. A realtor for instance, they provide a service people desire and depend on. They also receive commission and are trained thoroughly.
You should never pay a company to work. This includes buying products or handing over money for a training or background check. Any legitimate company will pay for this on their own. At any moment if you are asked to pay money to a company in order to get a paycheck you should move on.
A quick search online can usually yield results on the legitimacy of any company. The only businesses looking to hide information from the public are ones who have a reason to remain buried. Visibility is necessary for a company to succeed. To succeed, a company needs their employees to believe in what they sell and provide their customers.
As soon as you know the company name and/or address, plug it into a search engine. Chances are if you cannot find anything, they made it this way on purpose because they are not legitimate.
Use your instincts. Almost anything can be found online unless someone goes out of their way to stop it.
Too Good To Be True
Most things that sound too good to be true usually are.
I once applied for a job I found on Craigslist. Within an hour I received a phone call and an interview was set up for the next day. This seemed way too easy. My suspicions rose as soon as I realized the company had no real name or description of what the job was other than “administrative.”
When red flags were raised I decided not to go to the interview. I had already been told I would have to pay $75 for training and a quick online search led me to multiple websites claiming this address belonged to a less than reputable company whose primary goal was to hire people to hire other people to pay money.
After not showing up for the interview I received a polite phone call asking where I was and that I could come in the following day to do it. Any company this desperate to have me on board with as few qualifications as I have is doing everything wrong and only after my money.
Use your intuition. A job should never require a new employee to give up anything in order to be a part of the team.