They Doh Teach Yuh This in School – Potential Scams to Look Out For 

Author: Jason Dookeran


As Caribbean people, we have no shortage of “smart-man” coming to separate you from your money. With the sheer number of schemes, scams, and underhanded methods of making money in the region, it’s not surprising to see how few people want to try new things. Usually they say, if it were so easy, everyone would be doing it. Freelancing and side hustling online require dedication and drive to succeed, yes. But just as importantly, you have to know how to spot the scams from among the legitimate online jobs. Here’s what you should look for to tell if a company is trying to hustle you.

1. They require you to pay up front for training
When you sign on to work in an online side-hustle, they should be paying you, not the other way around. Any company that demands you pay them for training is selling you dreams: you shouldn’t put down a single red cent.

2. They require you to deposit checks and transfer the cash
In most situations, these companies are shady corporations laundering money for other companies. In other cases, they’re just fraudsters trying to make a payday from some unfortunate company. In any case, if a company asks you to deposit a check for them, then transfer the funds and keep some, it’s most likely a scam. Run.

3. They hide the employer’s identity
Now, some freelance jobs may require the employer’s identity to be hidden; for example, translation jobs for a law enforcement agency may not immediately show the employer. However, if you get a pitch from an individual but can’t tell what company they’re from, it’s best to avoid it.

Avoiding the “Smart Men”
Some job boards (like Upwork) will do due diligence on some of their jobs and your fellow freelancers will report other fishy ones they’ve come across. Even so, if you’re on a job board, the best practice to avoid getting scammed is to ensure that the job is already paid for in escrow. That way, the employer can’t just ghost you when the work is all done and it’s time for you to get paid.

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