Copyright (c) 2008 Thomas Husnik
Online employment through the Internet holds a lot of promise in providing the means for a person to generate income from their homes or anywhere in the world. But like any good thing, there are those who have polluted the Internet with their scams to promise you great earnings online while at the same time stealing money from you. The online employment scammer is faceless but very dangerous in that he or she can hide behind the cloak of being not only secretive but remote and out of reach. Here are some things to be aware of before you venture into the world of online employment.
First of all, online employment is not going to make you rich overnight. In fact, it may not make you rich at all. Most who work online have either the same standard of living or lower than what they had before if working on a freelance basis. If you are working for a company who is paying you a regular salary then this is not so much of an issue. What we are referring to is the self-employed person working through online employment or freelancing opportunities. This person has to constantly be seeking new work in order to thrive as the work will not knock at the door on its own. That means that at times, when the work gets hard to come by, the online worker can become desperate and susceptible to scams that promise big money quickly and for a minimum of work. If you remember anything, remember that if an online employment opportunity is too good to be true then it is probably 99% not true.
So the desperate person working online will typically take any job that comes along, work for any price, and offer services for free because the thought of not having work is too scary. While it is understandable that an online freelancer might have to lower prices in order to get work, there is a point where it becomes ridiculous. Just remember that while it seems there are many who pay low, it is not a good idea for you to work for too low because it presents your work as “cheap” and of low-quality. Hold your ground and don’t lower your prices below a level you want. A scammer trying to get your services for next to nothing will detect your willingness to roll over and will continue to try to get more and more out of younever intending to pay more.
The other thing a desperate person seeking online employment does is work without any guarantees of payment. This why it is good to go through online job sites like Elance. com and Script lance. com (and there are others) where the payment for the job can be set aside in escrow. You can see that the person buying your services is serious and has the money to pay for them. You can maybe relax this as you continue to work for the person and know his or her payment habits but initially, you need to protect your work investment.
And never pay too much to find work. Some of these job sites charge membership fees which is probably okay as long as the amount they charge is minimal. For example, don’t pay an annual membership fee to a job site that is $125.00 only to realize at the end of the year you never got any jobs or any payments from jobs on the site. If you are going to pay membership fees, start very small and make sure your prices are such that you can recover those costs.