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Why job scams are as rife as ever

Frank Hutton
Don't be fooled

“If it seems too good to be true...”

You’ve heard it before: If it seems too good to be true... then it probably isn’t true. The reason this old adage endures is because experience shows it to be reliable. But sadly, perhaps it’s our own desire for an easier life that allows them to continue.

I’ve been working with someone recently to see how they might supplement their income while waiting for their main business to take off. As part of my research, I looked at the kind of earning opportunities that might be out there for someone with: limited time, few skills or no key qualifications. Well, the good news is that there are some decent earning opportunities out there. There are also great ways of making money from the assets you have. Check out Moneymagpie for some great ideas.

Unfortnately, there are also people looking to take you for a ride.

We could all do with a little more and with the economic pressure easing, we are now more mentally equipped to handle a little extra work. Here are my three pet hates where people are trying to take advantage of you - I’d love to hear of any others you’ve come across:

Mystery shopping:

On the face of it, it seems all good. You’ll spot a small advert, perhaps down the side of your screen like: Mystery Shopping, Tesco £10 per hour. Sounded good to me so I clicked it. I got through to a screen offering me the chance to receive a £100 voucher which I would spend in a given store (no mention of Tesco) if selected as a suitable candidate. And I could ‘earn’ up to £300 in a month (max). I would then give feedback on the store - in fact, any kind of store it seems. OK, so I could walk out with some goods, or a new haircut but I could also spend more there than I might want to. In fact, it seems more like a discount scheme to drive footfall. Whatever, it’s not a Job and there’s no hourly rate - they LIED.

Private detectives:

There is one firm in particular running this one. You could earn up to £50 an hour as a PI. How exciting. Taking photo’s of people in compromising positions. Well, you need to give them your details first and wait to hear back - dodgy for a start. Then you’ll discover that you need to build up your own business and you’ll be paid on results. Whatever, it’s not a Job and there’s no hourly rate - they LIED.

Solar panel and other renewable technology lead gathering

Simply another one where it is basically door to door selling, commission only. Some do pay promptly once you’re up and running (maybe c.£50 a lead), but, it’s not a Job and there’s no guaranteed hourly rate - they LIED.

If you want to earn lots, there’s no substitute for hard work. If you want to earn more for less work consider:

  1. Jobs no-one else wants to do e.g. cleaning.
  2. Jobs that require working at weekends or early mornings e.g. delivery of packages
  3. Jobs that are boring e.g. security work


Happy hunting! And, be careful out there.