How To Spot Online Job Scam And Never Get Ripped off

Tired of Make Money Online scams that rip you off your hard earned money or the Online job scams that never pays you?

If that is a yes you are at the right place. I have already covered How To Make Money Online Without Paying Anything. But, it's not possible to cover each and every legitimate way of making money.

Therefore I thought of writing this article. In this article, I will teach you how to distinguish between a genuine Make Money Online scheme and a Make Money Online scam.

So get ready to learn the most basic lesson that you must learn even before you start your first online job.

How To Make Money Online Scam Works

Scammers don't operate in a set fashion. Some scammers create an online jobs website and promote it to find their targets while others approach you through email pretending to be Work from home job provider company.

Some scammers ask for upfront payment; others ask for payment when you request a payout. While there are other scammers who never ask for payment, but they don't pay you either for hard work.

In some cases, the scammers never offer you a job, but just post the openings to grab your details for spamming.

In any of the above cases, you will either lose your money or your precious time.

The First Signs Of Online Job Scams

Before getting into advanced methods of finding out if a particular job is genuine or a fraud, you must look for the basic signs that should raise the red flags.

1. Ask For An Upfront Payment

Most scammers ask you to make an upfront payment either as registration charges or software charges or security deposit. Once you make the payment, they will disappear.

Though not everyone who asks for an upfront payment is a scammer, I always suggest my readers that they stay away from it in any case.

2. Ask For Payment While Withdrawing Earnings

There are some online jobs which claim to be free and never ask you to pay anything upfront. But when you request to withdraw your earnings, they ask you to pay "Payment Processing Fees."

While a small processing fee is real and most companies do charge it; the genuine companies will deduct it from your earnings rather than asking you to make a payment.

People are more likely to fall into this trap. Human psychology says if you have worked hard for something, you try to convince yourself that you have taken the right decision. You don't want to believe that you have been scammed. And this why you end up paying. Needless to say, you will not get your earnings even after paying the "Payment Processing Fees."

3. Larger Than Life Promise

Very often I come across websites that claim to provide you jobs that pay thousands of dollars for very little work and with no skills.

Do keep in mind, if earning money was so easy, there won't have been poverty in this world. So, if you come across any job offers that make tall claims, hit the back button of your browser.

4. Shabbily Designed Website

Most scam websites aren't designed by professional web-designers. They have a dated interface and poor website navigation. Most of these websites will not have a privacy policy and disclaimer.

They will have no customer care to attend to your queries. Some of them don't even have contact information.

5. Job Offers From Personal Emails

A genuine job providing company will use a professional email with their company name. If the sender is using a personal email by Gmail or Yahoo or the likes, this should be a reason enough not to trust them.

6. Shortlisted Without Applying For A Job

You've got an email informing that you've been shortlisted for a legit looking job with a decent pay.

That sounds good, right?

Well, that should be perfectly normal if you've uploaded your resume on the internet and the writer gives the reference for the same. If you have never uploaded your resume, it's time to mark the email as spam.

A lot of scammers send emails assuming that you are actively looking for a job and have uploaded your resume on the world wide web. For those who are looking for a job, it does seem legit, and they fall into the trap.

Of course, you cannot write off such emails completely. But make sure to be more cautious especially if the email is for a profile not related to your qualification or your work domain.

7. Unprofessional Email Or WebSite Content

Whether you are offered job through an email, or you landed on their website, you must check the quality of their job posting content. More often than not, the scammers don't care to hire professional writers or get their content proofread.

If you see lots of slangs and grammatical errors, you should be more cautious.

Checking Make Money Online Scams

If the Online job looks legit when put to the test through above parameters, it's time to go for some advanced tests for checking if the job providing company is genuine.

1. Google Search

Google search is one of the best ways to find out Online job scams. Any person who has been scammed is likely to post it on the forums or on social media to make sure other's don't get scammed. All these results show up in Google search.

To find out if a particular website is legitimate or scam, you can use any of the below search string

  1. WebsiteName + Scam: This query will try to search the website name and the word "scam," anywhere on a website. This query will return search results that talk about scam of the website along with the websites which check if the given website is scam
  2. "WebsiteName is a Scam"( Make sure to add inverted commas as mentioned): This query will return only those in which users have clearly mentioned that "XYZ website is a Scam."
  3. WebsiteName + "Legit Or Legitimate": This query can be used to find those blogs and forum posts where users have used the term "Legitimate" or "Legit" along with the Website Name.
  4. WebsiteName + Review: This query can be used to find reviews of the website.

If you want to check the authenticity of an Email instead of a website, you can find out the name of the company mentioned in the email and replace the WebSiteName in above example with the name of the company.

2. Check WhoIs Data

The WhoIs data gives you detailed information about the Domain Name or as most people know "Web Site Address." You can find the Name of the person or company under whose name the Domain is registered along with some basic information like Cell Phone number, Email Address, and Mailing Address of the individual/Company who owns the Domain.

If a website has an incomplete mailing address or a non-working telephone number, it is a big red flag.

Below screenshot shows WhoIs Data for Amazon.comWhoIs Data- Make Money Online ScamYou can find WhoIs Data of any website using This Link.

However, you must also know, domain owners can hide their personal data using a paid service called Domain Privacy Protection from Domain Registrar. In that case, the WhoIs data of the domain owner is replaced by that of Domain Registrar. So if I am buying a domain name from GoDaddy along with Domain Privacy protection, my personal details will be replaced by that of GoDaddy.

While most bloggers and individuals prefer hiding the above data for avoiding unsolicited calls and emails, companies who are into the online business refrain from hiding the same as the above data adds authenticity to a website. Most companies have a team who can attend to the unsolicited calls and if need be, take legal action against the repeat offenders.

3. Age Of The Website

It's a very obvious thing - If a website has been online for many years and is still live and paying, it is less likely to default in the future too. But most people are not sure how to find the age of the website.

Let me tell you; it is very easy to find the age of the website. The WhoIs data as stated above also mentions the date of registration of domain name. While a website does not go live the very day a Domain name is purchased, in most cases it gets online within a week or two after the date of purchase of Domain name.

4. Check Domain Authority Of A Website

Domain Authority is a very technical term that is related to SEO. It is measured on a scale of 1-100.

Without getting into details about its use in SEO, you can assume, higher Domain authority of a website suggests that more people are recommending and linking to the website and hence it is credible and legitimate.

Only the likes of Google and Facebook have Domain Authority of 100. So don't expect the Domain Authority of a website to be very high to be legitimate. In general, any website which has a Domain authority of 40 and above can be considered legitimate.

You can easily check the Domain Authority of a website by installing a Mozbar extension for Chrome. If you are using any other browser, you can also check Domain Authority using Moz Open Site Explorer

5. Alexa Rank Of The Website

Alexa Rank is a metrics developed by Alexa, an Amazon company. It ranks all the website on the world wide web based on its popularity.

Lower the Alexa rank of a website, more popular it is and hence more likely that it is genuine.

6. Check And Verify Email Address Of Sender

If you received an email for an Online job which promises of providing online jobs from Google, Amazon or other well-known and reliable companies, make sure to check the email address of the sender.

If the email claims to be for an Amazon Job, the email address should be from domain name i.e. or or the likes. If it's from Gmail or Yahoo or any other domain name, it is likely to be a scam.

Please, also note, that it is possible for anyone (Even you) to use service providers like GetResponse for sending email from However, unless they can verify that they own, Gmail and some other email providers will tag the email as unverified. In the case of Gmail, you will see the following message.

Gmail couldn't verify that [domain name] actually sent this message

While you may see above message due to technical issues, but you should be more cautious while blindly trusting such emails.

Final Words

The world wide web no doubt is full of scammers, but once you start analyzing websites closely, you can easily make out what websites are a scam and what are genuine.

None of the above-mentioned parameters can prove on its own if a website is a scam or genuine. But, if a website fails all or most of the tests above, it is definitely a scam, and it's better for you not waste your money or time working with them.

If you have any queries, you can ask me in the comments section below. If this article helped you, make sure to rate it with five stars and share it with your friends on any social network of your choice.

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Aquif Shaikh

Aquif Shaikh is a blogger and an SEO expert from the city of Baroda in India. He is a big-time foodie who loves travelling a lot.At Freelance Biz, he writes mostly about Making Money Online and Freelancing tips. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn

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