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Recently I was offered a position of payroll and other clerical duties from home. However the guy said he would only pay me monthly and I had to go buy envelopes, check paper, and regular white (plain paper). I told him I would need a deposit to start and even consider the position. He said he didn't like paying upfront that was to so this to start the position.

After a week he got back to me and asked if I considered the proposition. I told him I would if he met my 3 request, the Address of where this was taking place, he paid me weekly, and if I got his location. He has yet to respond. 

My question is, how do I stop scams or can I and how many so you all encounter?

 

Jason

Wa. State

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Scammers are getting smarter and smarter nowadays. If your gut says run, RUN! Watch for red flags too. If they don't want to follow your business protocols I'd find a client that will.

As far as reporting/stopping scammers, I wouldn't waste your valuable time. Just do your own due diligence when vetting a new prospective client and hope others do the same. Look out for yourself.

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Guest Tawnya

Thank you,

I've been looking for clients and everyone that comes my way I think I did a good job and then turns out a scam. Kinda gets discouraging.

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I had one scammer contact me for some of my tutoring services. Nothing stood out, but as is my habit, I googled him. Wow! He had scammed other small businesses especially work from home people and there was at least one newspaper article on him. Buh-bye! 

Google may not reveal everything but it's a good start. I also check to see if the person has a legit business license with my state registrar, check their website if they have one, check their personal and any business Facebook. You can learn a lot that way! Telltale signs if they don't have some of the markers of a business, brick and mortar address, some kind of online presence, registered with the state etc. 

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Hi folks,

This may not not be something that impacts you, but, two real stories (of many) in my words to the wise. Both stories involve different freelancer sites - no, of course not this site.

In the first, I submitted my proposal for an at-home administrative position, making it clear that I lacked experience in one of the requirements; bookkeeping. The pay was ridiculously good. I felt I had a fair chance of at least having a discussion with the principal concerned. Whether neither here nor there, FYI this was an 'offshore' employer.

I was magically shortlisted, and then - this is important, without any interview or discussion whatever - chosen for the contract because of my amazing skills. OK. Or not. I suggested I did not need his/their computer equipment (I already had/have three laptops and a tablet). But, no, I would have to use their equipment, and it would be shipped to me. Yep: red flag.

So I said no, no thanks. This person wrote me right back, imploring me to reconsider.

In the second case, a chunky administrative contract for a major US-based healthcare company, I was to have all kinds of varied and interesting admin duties. It looked really, really good. I visited the website. I did some initial checking on the Net. I decided to take the plunge, and yes, stupidly, provided some key personal information to the company. Afterall, they'd need some of it to hire me. Right?

I remember the next bit very, very clearly. In brief: I woke up suddenly at 5 a.m. in an absolute panic. Did I just give scammers key information? I calmed myself down, as I was to have a live Hangouts interview that very day. (I had a full day of classes, and exams I had to give, at the college I taught for.) Lunchtime came around, and I fired up Hangouts. The interviewer was asking me a time-constrained set of questions, and I had to answer 'live', typing my answers quickly. On having to type an 'essay' (close to it), I reminded my interviewer I didn't have the time during our live interview. S/he had obviously forgotten, so told me I'd be allowed to do so later that night. 

But before closing, having given me no feedback at all except which steps were next, I was asked to purchase two Amazon gift certificates on the way home, and, you probably know the rest. I flat-out refused, and was told they'd have to report me to ??? All good and fine. At that point, I was absolutely sure I was being scammed. And then; panic.

The short version of what happened after that was my reporting what had happened, telling my Chair and getting someone to handle my afternoon class/exam, and spending the long weekend terrified over what might happen while I was unable to contact certain government agencies.

In the end, I seem(ed) to have been spared any permanent damage.

If you're shaking your head in disbelief over my folly, well, I guess I deserve that. In these cases, I was twice bitten before becoming 'shy.'

Hope this helps some of you. Feel free to DM me if you feel you might be in a vulnerable situation.

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These scammers are getting so smart nowadays. It's hard to distinguish good from the bad anymore. Red flags are so important like, do they want you to buy stuff for them (never do that!). We as VAs also should not have to give out much more contact info than is on our website either so be wary of these types of questions. In the end if it sounds too good, it probably is ;)

Thanks for sharing your experience with us Rob, it will no doubt help another by sharing. Thanks!


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