Data Entry Job Scams (and How To Avoid Them)

Data Entry Job Scams (and How To Avoid Them)

There are a lot of job scams advertising what appear to be legitimate positions. Work-from-home job scams are perhaps the most common. There were over 100,000 fraud complaints filed with the Federal Trade Commission by job seekers. This includes almost 80,000 job scam complaints and about 15,000 complaints about opportunities to work from home or start a business.

Work-from-home data entry jobs are particularly appealing to scammers, who find many ways to make them seem real. That’s because many data entry jobs are entry-level and don’t require experience to get started. It’s easy to promote the positions as an easy way to get started working online and make money.

When you hear about a work-from-home job in data entry that sounds too good to be true (for example, the job might promise high pay for very few hours of work), it probably is. 

Read about some of the most common data entry job scams, and learn some tips for avoiding them.

Types of Data Entry Scams

Scams That Ask for Money

There are several kinds of data entry scams that ask for money to get hired.

  • One type of scam is the one that will ask you for money. You might be told that if you pay a fee, you will receive a job. 
  • Some scams ask you for money so that you can take a required test, pay administrative fees, or receive equipment or a kit necessary to start the job. 
  • Others ask you to pay for a training course or certificate program. 
  • Some will ask for money in exchange for more information on data entry jobs.

Once you pay the scammer money, you will likely not hear from the scammer again. Or, you will simply receive information that you could have received for free.

Scams That Offer Money

Another common type of scam involves giving you money—or at least appearing to give you money. The scammer will send you a check. You will deposit the check, and then, a day or two later, the scammer will ask you to send money to someone else (either for work supplies or for some other reason). After you send the money, you realize the check they sent you has bounced.

Sometimes these fake recruiters will drag out the process to make you think they are real. For example, one person who was scammed said the fake company actually put her through a week of “training” before sending her a fraudulent check.

Sometimes, these scammers will go as far as to conduct an interview with you, but the interview will not be in person. In some cases, the interview will be held on a messaging platform, so you never get to talk to the person who is hiring.

Scams That Steal Your Identity

Another goal of scammers is to steal your identity. They can do this by offering you the job, then saying they need your driver’s license number or social security number to get you on the payroll. They may also ask for bank account information for direct deposit. Sharing this information with a scammer sets you up to have your identity stolen.

Tips for Spotting Data Entry Scams

Even someone who is aware of scams and is looking for signs of being scammed can be fooled by criminals. Keep the following tips in mind whenever you are looking for a data entry job:

Learn about the common types of employment scams. Review examples of employment and job related scams so you know what to watch out for.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Data entry jobs, on average, do not pay particularly well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median hourly wage for a data entry keyer is $17.13 an hour.

Specialized jobs pay a bit more (for example, jobs as a medical coder or legal transcriptionist). If you see a job listing that promises an extremely high salary, a very flexible schedule, or both, be suspicious.

Research the company. Before sending an employer any personal information, research the company. Make sure they have a legitimate website. Ask the employer if you can speak to any of their employees or former employees in person. Keep researching until you feel confident that it is a legitimate company. Search Google using the company names and terms like “review” or “scam” to find complaints about the organization.

Check out the hiring manager. If the recruiter works for a legitimate company, you should be able to find information on them by searching Google and LinkedIn. If you can’t find any traces of an employment history or a current employer, be very careful before you proceed.

Never pay money for a job. Many of the scams will ask you for money early on in the process —either to cover the cost of equipment, to pay an administrative fee, or to pay for a test. You should not have to pay money to get a legitimate job. If anyone asks for money, that is a sign that it is a scam.

Be wary of paid training programs. There are some legitimate certificate programs or other training programs for specialized careers in data entry, like legal transcription and medical coding. However, many scams promise you training that you either never end up receiving, or training that is unnecessary. Do thorough research into any training program. Ask to speak in person with people who have completed the program.

Ask for a signed contract. If you are offered a job, ask for a signed, legal employment contract before beginning work. This will help you ensure that you are legally hired by a legitimate company.

Trust your gut. Remember to trust your instincts. If something seems “off” about a position, do more research before responding or reaching out.

What to Do if You’ve Been Scammed

If you believe you have been scammed, report it so that others can avoid the same scam. There are a number of ways you can file a complaint, including providing information to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Better Business Bureau. You can also report fraudulent websites to Google.

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  • January 12, 2023