How to Recognize Common Freelance Writing Job Scams
As a writer you may have a love hate relationship with the freelance jobs you find online. You probably love finding legitimate work online, however hate running into jobs that are actually scams. Although you can’t guarantee that you won’t run into a scam while searching for a job online, there are definite ways of avoiding it. As a writer who is trying to break into the world of freelance writing, chances are you’ve come across some very questionable job advertisements online. In some instances you can immediately tell that an ad is a scam simply because it sounds way too good to be true, however other times scams might not be so easy to detect. Luckily there are a few ways to easily detect a freelance writing job scam.
Do Your Research
If the freelance writing job that you came across lists the company’s name that you would be working for then take the time to research some background information by conducting an Internet search on the company’s name. This may reveal some insight from other freelance writers who have experience with that specific business. A legitimate company will have an extensive web presence, and so it should be very easy to dig up information on it. You may also want to search for the company using the Better Business Bureau’s website. If your potential employer is an individual then insist that you talk on the phone or meet in person at a public place before deciding whether or not to take the job.
Don’t Give Detailed Information Right Away
You should avoid responding to any advertisements that want you to give detailed personal information right away. Unless you are able to verify the credibility, existence, and reputation of an employer, then they should not ask that you give them your driver’s license number, photo, address or Social Security number. It is also recommended that you do not even email them your resume unless the advertisement shows the identity of the potential employer so that you can conduct extra background research.
Don’t Have Your Work Stolen
A large number of freelance writing scams aren’t in place to steal your identity, but instead your work. Many scam operations will ask for a few writing samples on topics that are given to you. They will often also ask that these samples be turned in before a certain very short deadline. Once the samples have been turned in, the job applicants will never receive any confirmation or feedback on the time-consuming work. This is due to the fact that the freelance writing scammer likely receives hundreds of well-written articles for free in this manner. Keep in mind that employers who are valid will often ask for a much more general writing sample and give enough time for writers to hand in their samples.
Make Sure There’s Enough Detail
One major red flag is when a freelance job advertisement is lacking in any detailed information. A real writing position will have an advertisement that provides ample information on what type of writing the employer is searching for, as well as the level of experience that they want and the pay scale. Before you begin any sort of writing work, it’s very important that you know exactly when and how the employer is planning on paying you and what your employer expects out of you as a writer. Also be aware that if the pay sounds too good to be true than it probably is.
Look at the Grammar and Tone
In many case the grammar and tone of a freelance job posting will speak for itself. Legitimate companies and professionals will be much more likely to utilize proper punctuation, appropriate capitalization and correct sentence structure in their job advertisements. If any part of a job posting that you come across is hardly readable, in all caps, or is written in an off tone then you should be wary.
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