Thanks for your job board. Sometimes I wonder about the writing and editing jobs you post. How can I tell if they are legitimate or if they are a scam?
You can’t tell if the writing jobs I post are legitimate or not. At least not until you answer one. I do try to check the ones that sound suspicious to me, but that’s highly subjective, and I make no promises.
If, however, you get a response that asks you to go to a website that requires payment of some sort, you can be almost sure it’s a scam. I saw almost because there are a few sites that charge a low fee for jobs and I’m always wondering if I shouldn’t do the same thing.
Of course, asking for payment isn’t the only scam out there.
Google For Scams
You can also google the company or the person if they are listed in the ad. I’ll sometimes put is XXXX a scam? in google. Then I have to sort through the answers, because not every claim that something is a scam is accurate, but such a search can help.
Simply googling writing scams or freelance writing scams can also be revealing.
Whispers and Warnings
Angela Hoy, owner of Writers Weekly publishes a page called Whispers and Warnings. It’s always worth checking there. Under some circumstances, Angela and her team will contact the publisher in question. When this happens, the transaction is logged in her Whispers and Warnings forum.
Although she’s occasionally been off the mark, her research is usually solid and you can trust what she says. And if you have different information, she’s happy to have you post your version
Trust Your Gut
You really have to trust your gut. There’s no point in being overly cautious, but do be careful about what kind of personal information you share, at least until you are pretty clear about what’s being asked and why and what you can expect.
There are scams out there, but most of the jobs I post are not scams. Not all of them pay well, but most of them will pay.
If you run into a scam, post it in comments. We can watch out for each other.
Image from http://www.sxc.hu