Many single parents of babies, toddlers and young school-aged children are struggling to find gainful employment with few or no child care options.
As a consequence, they are turning to remote or flexible work options, some of which are scams.
For the past couple of years, I have been fortunate enough to work for an employer who has provided me with the means to work remotely, and with my son in high school, I have no need for child care.
I am one of the lucky single parents who has found a flexible employer.
In a few of the private single parent Facebook groups I am a member of, I posed the question of how these single moms and single dads work in the face of diminishing child care options. Below are some of their responses:
“I did have a mobile grooming business, but with one of my kids having special needs, he was not welcome at before or after school care. Now that they are all in school, I thought I could go back to work. Well, with four kids just last semester alone, there had off 105 quarantine days; only a few of those days were they sick. It is soooooo difficult.” — Ophelia
“I work from home for the most part. I’m a writer working freelance. I also have another job that I go in for an hour or two a day and I wear my little on my back.” — Carlie
“I am fortunate to have an employer that is understanding and lets me work from home. I just went to her and explained why I need to work from home, and she was very receptive.” — Julie
“I was a nanny for a long time so my son came to work with me! Now, I work nighttime when my son’s sleeping. I can afford someone to watch him at night because it’s cheaper when he’s sleeping. He goes to bed before I leave! And I work every other day so I sleep only on my days off.” — Kristanna
“I’ve been training for a remote job for the last month and a half and was just told that my son can’t be home with me when I start actually working. I’m a single mom of two with one on the way so I would love to know how other moms do it too. … I worked from home in my prior position from the start of COVID-19 until October with my kids at home and was able to get more done at home then I was in the office prior. But when everyone returned to the office, I wasn’t able to because of child care and lost a job of 5 1/2 years due to it. So now I’m just working on figuring out what’s next.” — Nicole
“If your crafty you can sell what you make. I do knitted blankets, dishcloths, scarves, keychains and bracelets.” — Erikka
“I currently sell feet pics online and used socks, etc. to those fetish individuals and they come to you easily … People may think that is weird, maybe even disgusting, but I can make more with that than a regular job.” — Lindsay
These and other responses reminded me of the difficulties I experienced when searching for a good, well-paying position, as I combed through endless job posts, submitted resumes and waited for the response that never came. The worst part of that experience was falling for fake listings that made the job hunt more perilous and demoralizing.
Through some research, I compiled several tips in the hopes that you, dear reader, will evade the illegitimate posts that sap your energy and perseverance and, instead, focus on opportunities that can help you and your family survive and thrive with dignity.
What are the signs of a job posting scam
The adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” definitely applies when sniffing out a scammer’s job posting.
Following are some common characteristics of a bogus post:
- No experience or resume necessary — All actual jobs will require both in some form or fashion. Scammers use these types of bait to lure gullible applicants.
- Required fee — No legitimate position will request payment for an inquiry or certifications of any kind to qualify as an applicant
- Check cashing — If you receive a check to cash and are allowed to keep a portion of the money while sending the remaining amount to someone, you are being scammed. The check was bogus, and instead, you will have ended up sending your only money.
- Outrageous pay — Scammers promise incredible payouts for work only a surgeon would be qualified to provide. You won’t receive $5,000 a week or month for stuffing envelopes or mailing packages.
- Spam emails, texts and calls — Unsolicited emails, texts or calls about “your interest” in a position you know nothing about are a popular way scammers share fake jobs. If you receive any of these, you should not provide any personal and financial information and disregard them.
- No job description — If the post has little to no information explaining the job’s responsibilities, it’s likely a scam.
Some common scams include repackaging or reshipping items, reselling merchandise, craft assembly, and check and funds processing.
How can you find out if a potential employer is bogus
Not all businesses are legitimate. Following are websites that specialize in spotting scams:
- Rip-OffReport.com — This site allows you to check if a business is legitimate and review complaints. It has been around since 1998.
- Fraud.org — This site is a project of the National Consumers League and tracks fraudulent online activity. It started in 1992.
- Federal Trade Commission — This site exposes money-making schemes. It has been advocating for consumers for decades.
What are some legitimate job posting websites
Following are sites that offer positions, which have been verified:
- RatRaceRebellion.com — This site was founded by leaders in the virtual-work/work-from-home movement. It began in 1999.
- FlexJobs.com — This site provides hand-screened employment opportunities with numerous companies. It was created in 2007.
- CareerOneStop.com — This site lists thousands of jobs and links to employment and training programs in every U.S. state. It was launched in 2015.
Job postings with other employment websites, including Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, Monster.com, Glassdoor.com and GetWork.com, may need to be evaluated in case they are scams, but these websites do have legitimate employment opportunities if you have the patience to weed through the fake ones.
Dear reader, as always, exercise caution and keep your wits about you. Eventually, you will find what you are looking for.
Never give up. I didn’t even after sending hundreds of resumes.
On Thursdays, I share a blog about a day in the actual life of a single parent.
Starting the summer of 2021, my son, Joseph, is writing a monthly column titled In My Son’s Words where he describes his experiences as a teenager and as a child of a single parent.
Twice a month, instead of a personal post, I put together one where I assemble news on and about single parents nationally and globally.