Workamper Scams – Beware, Be Cautious, Be Sure, Be Safe

Scammers, pirates, identity thieves, spoofers, fraudsters…they go by many names, and they are targeting Workampers.

Are you practicing good internet hygiene? Are you doing your best to keep your sensitive data secure and protect it from theft or attacks? As a Workamper, you may be tempted by the allure of “free” websites, but have you really stopped to think about who you might be giving your sensitive information to?

Scammers infiltrate free-to-use websites and social media groups since it’s easy. It takes just a few minutes to create an account (some sites don’t even require this step) and submit a “job posting” that will be available for any unsuspecting Workamper to find.

Many of these free websites are not monitored and are simply created to drive traffic to and increase banner ad network revenue earnings. Social media group admins do their best to keep out any junk, but they’re just volunteers with other jobs and things going on in their lives.

Here at Workamper News, we have have security protocols in place to keep your data secure and your identity safe from attacks.

  • First, our website is secured by SSL. This means any data that you submit between your computer and our website is encrypted and can’t be intercepted and read by others.
  • Second, our website is not free to use. This paywall is important as it keeps all but the most serious scammers out since they typically aren’t willing to spend money to gain access.
  • Third, we have actual staff members that review every new member account as well as every ad that gets submitted before it gets published to our members.

Just last week, our team thwarted a scammers attempt to gain access to our system and successfully shut him down before any damage was done. In the past, we’ve seen some Help Wanted ad scams submitted to our site, but this time it was a more advanced attempt. We figured this story would be a great reminder for you to be safe with your sensitive data.

The scammer joined by paying for a yearly Employer Gold membership. Yes, he actually paid the yearly cost of Employer Gold membership via a credit card (more on that later). He then submitted a help wanted ad to be ran in our online Hotline system.

Again, we are a professional membership service with a team in our office that looks at each new Employer membership account created, and we manually process every help wanted ad that is submitted. Our team immediately spotted some concerning things about this new account.

The scammer’s membership account had a couple questionable aspects such as a company name that, upon researching, was no longer active in the state they said they were in as well as a phone number that had been disconnected. Pairing that with the vague, “remote work” help wanted ad that was submitted, we knew we needed to take action. We immediately deactivated the scammer’s membership account and of course did not publish the ad out to our members.

The scammer responded to our first email inquiry, but the response only provided information that helped us further validate this was not legit. Two additional emails were sent and a voicemail left to attempt to verify if the business that this scammer was claiming to be was actually a real entity seeking a remote worker. We received no further reply.

We refunded the credit card transaction that the scammer had processed to become a member. At this point, we assumed this credit card had been stolen and was being used fraudulently.

Our assumption was confirmed when the credit card owner called us the next day – she and her bank were investigating fraudulent charges made to her card. The scammers had setup the membership account with her name, address, email address, and credit card info. Yes, they had even garnered access to her email account.

So, please be cautious out there on the internet. Be sure to do your due diligence on any business or individual that you are considering sending your information to or going to work for.

Be sure to google the company, find them on Facebook, and read reviews from others, even if it’s just reviews of the business’ products and services. Depending on the state the business is in, you can typically search for a business entity by name with the Secretary of State’s website to verify that the business is still active. Do all of these things before you send them any personal information. As the old adage goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Here are some recommendations for good internet hygiene as a Workamper:

  1. Use “free” websites sparingly.
    When a website is free, that typically means that YOU are the product, and any one out there – scammer or not – is using it to their advantage. Only use resources where the Employer is paying to distribute their help wanted ads to help ensure the ad is legit.
  2. Do not post a lot of information about yourself on websites/social media that are open to the entire Internet.
    Don’t share things like your contact information, current location, pictures with your license plates in it, etc. If you do want to post somewhere that is wide-open, create an email address that you don’t use for anything important and put that as your only contact point.
  3. Do not include your full resume in your first inquiry.
    If you are responding to a job listing that does not share what the hiring business/entity is, start by sending an email requesting additional information or a phone call to gather the critical details you need to make an informed decision.
  4. Make sure you have verified the Employer is a legitimate business.
    Before providing things like a W-4, I-9, direct deposit approval form, etc, due your due diligence. Most states provide a free business-lookup tool on their government website; that’s one step to take in your investigation. Also, google them, read reviews, find them on Facebook. If they are a legit company, they should have all of those things.
  5. You should never have to provide credit card information to an Employer as part of the application or hiring process.
    While it’s possible that an employer would have a cost for a uniform or some specialized equipment required for a job, typically the cost will be deducted from the first paycheck. Be cautious if they are asking for your credit card information for something like this during the hiring process.
  6. Read reviews from other Workampers.
    Try to connect with any Workampers working for that employer. The ads in our Hotline system will have a link to any reviews, and members can use the Member Map to reach out to any Workampers they find in the location of the job they are researching.
  7. Don’t use the same login password for everything.
    Use a password manager tool, like LastPass, OnePass, or RoboForm, to store your passwords and generate secure passwords for you. This is one of the best things you can possibly do for internet security. Set one up today – many are free to use so there’s no excuse to be using the same weak passwords over and over again for all your accounts.

We are not sharing this story to try to scare you or keep you from Workamping. Please don’t let this type of scenario hold you back from your dreams of enjoying this country in your RV! The majority of the Workamping job opportunities you encounter will be legitimate.

Just stay alert, share with caution, listen to your gut, and utilize the resources, like Workamper News, that have your best interests at heart.

Thanks for reading the Gone Workamping blog from Workamper News. Join today to see all the new job opportunities for RVers, as well as the training and resources to confidently find the right Workamping job for you – easily and securely.