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4 Ways to Tell a Side Hustle from a Scam

Have you ever fallen for a side hustle scam? Here are few signs that the side hustle you've signed up for isn't actually legit and trying to scam you out of your money!

There are lots of reasons for people to take on a side hustle. They may have a large bill come up that was unexpected. Or, perhaps they simply made some bad financial choices.

But if you need to take on an extra job to pay your bills it can be a bit depressing. You may get discouraged or feel like a total failure.

As if that isn’t bad enough, you may end up getting scammed in the process if you aren’t careful. Fortunately there are a few ways to tell a side hustle from a scam.

1. Promises to Make Huge Sums of Money

When a job sounds too good to be true it probably is. Trust your instincts. Many jobs that promise to make you huge sums of money right off the bat are scams.

Some of these scams are not too hard to identify. But not all are as easy to spot.

They could be advertised as ways to work from home and make lots of money. In truth, some work at home jobs are completely legit. But you must be able to discern the real ones from the fake ones.

What sometimes happens is that you are required to pay for training but it never happens. Or, you may have to shell out money for supplies up front but they never arrive. This is because you were targeted by a scammer who wants to take your money without ever providing those things.

2. Overpayments on Work Performed

Another trick criminal’s use is to have you actually do a job for them that they overpay you for. They target desperate people who really need the money and will accept their job offer. That doesn’t make it your fault, though.

Once you complete the work they assigned you, they may give you a check that is for too much money. They will ask you to deposit it anyway and give them back the overage. Don’t fall for this trick.

Unfortunately, the check will bounce a few days later which makes you liable to cover the amount of money withdrawn as the overpayment. In the mean-time your employer has skipped out of town never to be heard from again.

3. Large Upfront Investments

If a job requires a large upfront investment it may be a scam. To tell a side hustle from a scam watch for those that want you to invest several hundred dollars or more before starting.

The employer in these cases is probably a criminal trying to take your money. They prey on you when you really need the money. Their success depends on your vulnerability.

Again, it is not your fault that you are searching for a way out of your financial difficulty. But don’t fall for these types of scams. Most legitimate side hustles won’t require such a large upfront investment.

4. Sketchy Hiring Processes

If you receive a job offer with no interview or application it is probably not legit. Scammers will offer to hire you on the spot or do interviews online.

You can also tell a side hustle from a scam by vague or incomplete descriptions of the company or job. If you don’t know the owner or where they are located be wary. Having a website or advertisement online isn’t a guarantee that they are legitimate.

When you need to make some extra money be cautious about whom you go to work for. Use these tips to tell a side hustle from a scam so you can actually bring home a paycheck.

Have you ever been scammed from a fake job offer?

About Kayla Sloan

Kayla is a mid-20s single girl living in the Midwest, USA. She is focused on paying off her consumer and student loans, while simplifying her life and closet. You can join her on her journey at ShoeaholicNoMore or follow her on Twitter.

3 comments

  1. Oh, great list, and they also ask for information that’s a bit too private to just give to strangers as well. Be careful!

  2. Never fell for a scam thank goodness, but I was targeted for a multilevel marketing company once. It was Vector Marketing, who sell those CutCo Knives. Fortunately I didn’t have the money to buy their startup kit – either that, or I didn’t want to spend the money because I thought it was stupid.

    I feel bad for people that fall for employment scams and MLMs, though.

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