Are There Real Online Jobs

When people are unemployed and one interview after another resulted in rejection, it's only normal that they go looking elsewhere for earning opportunities. There are plenty of ads offering work from home, but are there real online jobs?

Warning signs

Whenever a job seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Ads that promise you hundreds or even thousands of dollars are a sure sign of a scam. If it were possible to make thousands of dollars from home, why would anyone still go out to work?
  • Beware of a company or individual charging you a fee for software, a Web site, and marketing materials or to become part of a team. Real companies pay you for your services; they don't ask for money.
  • If the job entails typing ads, reading emails, stuffing envelopes or addressing envelopes, chances are it's a scam.

Are there real online jobs?

There are and you will recognize them by the application process. A reputable company or individual will ask you for your resume and/or a sample of your work if appropriate.

  • Doctors, lawyers, researchers and authors are in the habit of doing dictation. If they don't have an office assistant, they will require a virtual assistant or dicta transcriber.
  • Freelance writers are in demand to write about a variety of subjects. In most cases a sample of your writing style will be required.
  • Bloggers might be called upon to write about various subjects or events in different geographical areas.
  • Graphic designers are needed on a freelance basis by companies or agencies to design corporate branding and advertising materials. Publishers or authors planning on self-publishing might contact a graphic artist to design a book cover.
  • Web design and Web site maintenance is a popular online job. With an increasing number of individuals setting up their own business, they need a website to advertise their products or services.
  • Illustrators are often contacted by authors to illustrate their books or perfect roughly drawn cartoons.

How to avoid scams

When in doubt about whether an online job is real or not, there are Web sites you can contact to verify the advertiser.

  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is up to date with most scams and lists them on their home page. If you need information, click the "Contact Us" button. You can write to the BBB, call them or fill out an online form with your question.
  • Scambusters is another organization that hunts down and exposes scams. You can ask about a particular "job opportunity" or subscribe to Scambusters and get updates via email.
  • National Fraud Information Center is yet another organization that deals with scammers. If you've been scammed or you suspect a scam, fill out their online complaint form and warn others.

Keep in mind that scammers prey on your desperation. They offer get rich quick schemes that benefit nobody but themselves. Are there real online jobs? Yes, but they won't pay you a fortune.

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