I was just offered a writing job. For the price of $69.99. No, not paying $69.99, they asked me to pay them $69.99 to give me a listing of available jobs. Giant red flag.
I bought my first desktop PC back in the early 90s. I hooked it up, dialed it up, and minutes later was logged on to the World Wide Web for the first time. It was exciting and overwhelming all at once. I immediately started reading success stories of mothers with young children who had been able to give up their day jobs to stay home with their children – and still earn an income. It was the birth of the WAHM, the Work At Home Mom. I was excited. I was naive! I wasted no time filling out online forms, making plans, dreaming of finally spending some time with my kids and being financially secure. Time passed and I received no job offers. I dug a bit further and found websites full of work from home job listings. Turns out each of those listings took me to sites offering listings. At the end of each of these rainbow colored pyramids were brightly colored websites promising freedom from debt and freedom of time – for the low, low price of $39.99, or $169.99, or $19.99 if you order in the next ten minutes. I was disappointed when I learned that once you paid this fee, they would set you up with your own website and teach you how to advertise your service, which was to teach others how to set up their website and advertise their service…. See where this is going?
Prior to the days when everyone had internet access at their fingertips, employers advertised job openings in the newspaper. I remember several breaking news stories in my local area of ’employment agencies’ being shut down for fraud. It seems the trick back then was to enter a post in the Help Wanted section of the newspaper claiming to be an employment assistance agency. Unsuspecting job seekers would call the listed phone number, speak to a very enthusiastic job counselor who would gush over their skills and claim to have several openings that would be a perfect fit. The first step was to come in and ‘enroll’ in their service. For the low, low price of $69.99, you would have access to their exclusive employment opportunities. When the unemployed person, down to their last $69.99, went to the office and enrolled, they were handed a sheet of paper with a typed list of job openings. The same listings that were right there in the Help Wanted section of the newspaper, right next to the ’employment agency’s’ ad. Fraud.
Now I am not saying the offer I was made earlier today was fraud, not by any means. I am sure for someone just starting out or with little to no time, paying a fee for access to a prepopulated list of potential writing gigs may be worth it. From my vantage point, as a writer I am very well acquainted with the internet and am very used to doing my own research – I’m not willing to pay for this service.
My advice to anyone – you should never pay anyone to get a job. My many years of experience have proven that you should be able to apply for any legitimate job with out paying for the privilege.