Yesterday I got this lovely comment in response to one of my posts:

We really need writers desperately. After checking out this site, we really want you on our staff. We pay out $35-$50 hourly. Our best people are pulling in over $90K a YEAR, composing part-time. Please swing by and see what we have to offer.

Seems like a good deal, right? My writing skills are obviously badly needed, and $90K a year is pretty good.

Yeah, right.

This is a scam that has been appearing in blogs throughout the world with increasing frequency and with possibly more success than the Nigerian Prince Scam, since it plays off people’s vanity and belief (or desire to believe) in their own writing skills.

How can you tell it’s a scam?

1. It’s a comment, not a message

Any legit job offer will be private. This comment is posted for everyone to see, which means that they want everyone to see it. The more people they can draw into their bogus job offer, the better. If they were truly providing you with a private offer, they would utilize private contact methods, such as the Contact page on this website. So while receiving a private message does not guarantee that the offer is legit, not receiving a private message is a certain indication that it’s a scam.

2. Urgent! We need you.

If you go to their website (and I always recommend clearing your cache and your settings before and after investigating a potentially dubious site, because you never know what information websites can steal these days), the following message will splash across your screen:

urgent - writers needed

Any site like this that has an “Urgent” need for employees is definitely a scam. Companies never need employees that badly — especially employees with no experience (see point 3), and especially not when the current unemployment rate is 9% in the U.S. alone. Even if they were frantic for employees, they would never admit that because it would decrease their stability in the eyes of their customers — unless they’re a scam!

3. No experience needed

Everything needs experience. Everything. Anytime you see a sign like this, it’s a scam:

no experience required

4. Too good to be true

Sorry, but $90K a year? Really? Especially when combined with phrases like “Urgent!” and “No experienced needed,” this outlandish figure should be a clear indicator that something is not right.

5. Reduced price

Job offers should always be free. You should never, ever have to pay someone to get a job or access to a job — especially if they are the ones trying to solicit you! This particular scam not only requires that you pay, but they use the “reduced price” trick to try and make you think that you’re getting a good deal!

reduced price

And while $5 might not seem like a risky investment to you, $5 times 100,000 people is half a million dollars for these scammers! Don’t be fooled by signs that say “reduced price” or “limited time.” They are just trying to draw you in and get you to spend money that you shouldn’t spend.

6. Their privacy policy is not very private

If you were to examine this scam’s privacy policy, you’d see that it isn’t very private:

We may use the personal information that you supply to us and we may work with other third party businesses to bring selected retail opportunities to our members via email. These businesses may include providers of direct marketing services and applications, including lookup and reference, data enhancement, suppression and validation and email marketing.

Basically, that means they can give (sell) your personal information to anyone they want and sign you up for a bunch of direct mail campaigns.

7. They make it difficult to contact them

The email (listed in their privacy policy) that you’re supposed to contact if you want to cancel your “trial” and avoid large charges to your credit card is not an easy copy-paste, and is not linked to an email client that will open automatically with a single click. Instead, they make it as difficult for you as possible:

s u p p o r t ^at^

Not only do you have to type out the email address yourself and replace their moronic ^at^ with an @ symbol, but you can’t even determine at first glance exactly what their email address is. The first “s u p p o r t” has spaces between its letters, but the last “realwritingjobs” does not. Are you supposed to put spaces between the letters (not supported by any email client I know of), or not? Such might be the question asked or mistaken assumption made by one less familiar with the computer, the result being a bunch of erroneous letters that eventually become so frustrating that the person simply gives up and accepts the charge to their credit card. (Note that this company does not provide a valid phone number to address concerns — another sign of a scam!)

8. Earnings disclaimer

This particular scam doesn’t even try and pretend that its so-called testimonies “may” be typical”


Do Not Fall for Scams!