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How to Avoid Personal Assistant Job Scams

Posted on August 30, 2018 | Firm News

Working from home seems like the perfect opportunity for millions of employees in the U.S. Job opportunities are available, but it can be hard to determine which listings are scams and which ones are a real chance for employment. A lot of scams come in the form of a job opening for a personal assistant position. The promise of employment and a job with a reasonable description seems like a great opportunity, but how do you know if it is real or a scam?

What Is a Personal Assistant Scam?

A personal assistant scam happens when a so-called employer offers the opportunity for “clients” to transfer money to businesspeople and other companies around the world. The job opportunity may sound real, with a list of tasks for completion like any other personal assistant position. Potential employees may run errands, purchase gifts, or schedule appointments. But there are a few key points to watch out for when accepting a position as a personal assistant.

Red Flags

There are a number of red flags that should indicate a job opportunity is fake. Once you know the signs, it will be much easier to distinguish between a real job opportunity and a scam. Here are some of the common factors that should immediately alert you to a phony job listing:

  • Large sums of money. Any mention of large sums of money should immediately make the red flags fly.
  • Anyone who offers to send you a check for money you didn’t earn. Never accept a check from an unknown source. As soon as you deposit it in your bank account, the funds return back to the scammer’s bank account, leaving you responsible for large fees and paying the bank back for the fraudulent check.
  • Job offers that involve far away countries. Oftentimes, the scammer will tell you the job required forwarding money to banks or companies outside the United States. This is not always the case, but it should send up a red flag.
  • If the job listing does not have the name of the employer clearly listed. Any real job opportunities come from companies or from people with credentials looking to hire a contractor. The position is likely a scam if it does not list the employer’s name or the name of the company.
  • Fake credentials. If the job listing does list a contact person, do a Google search to determine if the credentials belong to a real person. If the search ends up in a dead end, you’ll know you have a scam on your hands. You can also do a search for the person’s name followed by the phrase “personal assistant.” If the job listing is a scam, you may find reports on the internet from other people who have had the same experience.s
  • Immediate response. A real potential employer will require time to read over your resume and contact you for an interview. You are dealing with a scam if you fill out an application and receive an immediate response with the guarantee of employment.

Real Work From Home Opportunities

Real work-from-home opportunities are available, but they can be difficult to find. You can immediately see the difference in the application process for a real job, because the application will require professional recommendations, a portfolio of your previous work, and possibly even a sample of your skills. The employer should ask for your work history or a resume of your experiences, followed by time to review your application. It should ultimately involve a phone or video-chat interview with a real person to determine that the job is a real chance for employment. It’s likely you are dealing with a scam if none of these legitimate screening criteria occur.

You may need legal assistance if you have been the victim of a personal assistant scam. An experienced employment lawyer can help to track down information relating to the scam in an attempt to get your money back; however, these scams frequently lead to a dead end and the victims are out thousands of dollars. The best way to protect yourself is to know the signs of a phony job opportunity and avoid falling prey to a personal assistant scam.