To the entrepreneurs and job seekers in a tough world trying to provide for yourselves and your families, create a breakthrough in your lives for the better, make a dent in the universe -- this is addressed to you. Many startup founders cannot afford to work solely on their business and need to maintain a revenue stream to keep themselves or families afloat. Stay at home jobs are ideal for entrepreneurs because it allows them to maximize their time when they are not working by not having to travel to and from work, late meetings, as well as eliminating the costs of lunch expenses. This allows them to be targets for modern day cyber crime.
There is always crime lingering around all of us that we cannot see and are blinded even more when in desperate times financially. Connectivity, mobility, and the speed of business has created multiple worm holes for cyber-criminals to take advantage of young professionals and companies in a moment of weakness. They can lull you into trust and belief and most of the time it’s too late before you discover the fraud. There are many different forms of cyber-crime right now, targeting the pool of unemployed or underemployed professionals and entrepreneurs; money laundering, reshipping scams, pre-pay/work at home scams. Money laundering scams are everywhere there is a job board.
A company will contact you and say that they recently reviewed your application and they would like to interview you. Sounds normal, right? It will look, smell and feel everything like a real position. Better yet, you have the option to work from home and you get paid a great income. The thoughts of excitement and joy rush through your mind every day as you begin believing in yourself again and your ability to provide for your family the life they deserve.
You begin the training program from home and invest hours of your time into the studies. Your family is having to sacrifice their weekends and time so that you can complete the training activities. Somewhere in the second to fourth week of the training process the company will ask if you would like to complete an optional training project. If you accept, which of course you will because you are excited for the opportunity! All you have to do is add the companies bank account to your personal credit card so they can wire funds to you. The next step is even more exotic; go and purchase some high end electronics and send them internationally -- no big deal, right? Wait, what? This isn’t illegal is it? They do not want any of my personal information, they just want to send me money so that I can purchase and ship electronics on the companies behalf. On the surface it doesn’t sound illegal but why would someone want me to execute a job that they can do themselves in four mouse clicks?
Turns out this is very illegal as you are an accomplice to money laundering on an international level and can be punishable up to 20 years in prison.
Some ideas to protect yourself during your job search are establish the top ten list of companies you want to work for, monitor the positions you apply for with a spreadsheet, and listen to your instincts. If you are contacted by a company that you did not apply for do your research. They should have plenty of information on google, LinkedIn, and other job boards. Employees in the company will have legitimate profiles explaining their position and accomplishments. Be wary of companies that do not have complete company profiles and state they have been around for a long time.
The number one job that we have as entrepreneurs, professionals, experts, husbands, fathers, wives, mothers is protecting our families. No matter how bad the economy is or how difficult it is to find a new career. If you are not skeptical and equally interviewing a company as they interview you, failure isn’t just not in the short term ability to provide but the long term to protect the ones you love most.