How to Avoid a Scam 101


Hi Carolyn,

First, thank you for applying. We received an overwhelming number of responses and have finally narrowed it down to a few candidates.

We’ve made the decision to work with you temporarily on one or two projects to make sure this is the right fit for everyone. I think this may be the best way to see if this is going to work long-term. I hope so!

There are several hanging projects I would like to finish before we can start on some new websites and newsletters. These miscellaneous tasks should take about a couple of days. I would like to have them completed by November.

We partner with an agency Real Writing Jobs to manage and track these projects. You will have to go through this portal to gain access and fill in your information on how to get paid as an independent contractor. Checks will come from this agency. There is a registration fee of $2.95. Click above link to go directly to the sign up page.

Once you have completed this process we can get started.

I look forward to working with you!

Lauren Whitman

Assistant Editor

i.r.c. Publishing, Inc.

Ms. Whitman,

I really appreciate you getting back to me about this job. However, I am seeing some flaws in your business strategy.

After reading the terms of service for that website, I discovered that in order to remain registered, there is a $47 monthly payment incurred by me after the 10-day, $2.95 trial period. In order to complete these assignments, I assume I’ll have to remain a member. Meanwhile, the disclaimer pages states that “THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT [I] WILL EARN ANY MONEY USING THE TECHNIQUES AND IDEAS IN THESE MATERIALS.” It seems pretty bogus for me to pay almost $50 a month with no guarantee of payback with the work I’d put in.

In addition, the FAQ section states that payment comes from the companies for which I would be writing, which I’m assuming is you. However, in your previous email, you said that the payment comes from the Real Writing Jobs agency. This in itself is a major discrepancy.

Also, the affiliate program page, (which isn’t too hard to find) essentially says that you’re getting paid to get me to sign up for this website, and it even provides you with templates to post on job search websites!

After attempting to research i.r.c. Publishing, I am finding that it doesn’t seem to have a website, which looks slightly suspicious to me.

So, after all this, I’m going to have to decline the offer to proofread for you. I’d really like to, because I’m actually pretty good at it, but as a recent college graduate with a student loan to pay, I can’t afford to be scammed.

Thank you,

Carolyn L.


5 thoughts on “How to Avoid a Scam 101

  1. I’m glad I checked this site. I just got the same email. Perhaps now they will change their strategy which means we have to do this sort of research all over again. Hopefully all of us looking for legit opportunities will keep each other posted when we come across ads like these.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I just received the same exact letter from Lauren Whitman. Must be a standard template she uses. I asked her to send me information about the company and the type of work they do, but she must have conveniently “forgot” to do that in her response. I was a bit weary of responding to something on Craigslist, and now I can see my instincts were probably right.

  3. wow. i just almost got caught by this same exact one. it was on craigslist. but the joke was on them b/c i literally didn’t have the $2.95 even to put on a credit card. thanks so much for posting.

  4. good call on that one! always double check any employer! i caught one a year or two ago myself, looking for summer work. it was a similar thing, where you actually ended up paying to work there…hang in there! don’t let yourself get discouraged! it’s hard all around. i’m having trouble finding anything educational down here.

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