Avoid Scams While Hiring Virtual Assistants Online

Whether you are new to Amazon seller central or a top seller, you might have hired an Amazon expert for complete store management. In this article, we’ve mentioned a few things that you need to consider and also things that a VA need to ensure to prevent future scams. We’re sure even virtual assistants from around the world can easily be scammed into finishing a project, and not get their due amounts paid (discussed in a later blog). Just like how companies contract employees and take their identity proof into consideration, we would suggest signing such a contract with your VA, before you take any new hires. Let’s get into detail as to how as a virtual employee, you can avoid fraudulent acts while hiring virtual assistants online.

Things To Consider

Check Online Profile Thoroughly: Always be aware of the fact that many scam artists make fake accounts or profiles on writing boards, social media platforms and other such venues. Make sure you check whether the profile has a genuine profile image, and this includes studying the account history in terms of no. of posts, photograph list, address, name, website and timeline feed. Also, remember that if the profile is newly created and there are no real friends then chances are that it is a scammers profile. Keep in mind that scammers post repeated or copied content on their news feed and on different groups. Our recommendation is to stay away from such profiles, in general.

Authentication is Necessary: This means you need to ask for ID proof, just like any other company would while hiring. Ensure you take into account your VA’s personal identity details,  so before you sign a contract, ask for their government ID proof such as Passport, National ID, Driving License etc. and make sure the details on the government ID proof is matching with the Facebook profile.

Client Testimonials: Before you hire a VA, ensure you take into account client testimonials so maybe your VA has worked on UpWork before, or any other freelancing site however you will need to check their portfolio well beforehand. Also, ask for their LinkedIn profile as many professional virtual assistants nowadays have a profile on this media site. Make sure you take recommendations from previous clients or referrals, before hiring anyone.

Keep a Record of Work Hours: While hiring virtual assistants online, keep in mind the number of hours due, because some freelance agents work faster than the rest. Whether you’re paying on an hourly basis, or per project we oblige you to use a content monitoring tool like HubStaff to time-track work or you can take screenshots off Skype while keeping your VA on payroll.

Maintain Electronic Footprint: While hiring a VA from Facebook, ensure you maintain an electronic footprint through mails and messages. Ask for their email ID and start the conversation via mail, or over Skype. All your terms & conditions should be sent via email, and also requirements for the project. If you are hiring the VA on hourly basis then PayPal invoicing must be there.

Take Sample Test (PAID): The most important part of this hiring process is that you must test the skills of the VA you are hiring online. The VA should have all the basic and advanced skills that he/she will need to complete your work efficiently and fulfill all the requirements. We suggest that you should give them a paid test assignment to know about their skills. Because most of the scammers are unskilled and unprofessional so testing must be done.

Be Clear & Concise with Project: Before you hire a VA, you should have a clear idea about your requirements so ensure you mention everything in the job description. You should not be in a stage where you have to keep updating what the VA is exactly going to do for you, but if you have clear goals then it will save more time for you and the VA. Ensure your project details are recorded via electronic contract, or some form of agreement.

What About Virtual Assistants Getting Scammed?

We have also noticed that many virtual assistants got scammed after completing a specific project. To avoid scams make sure you research the employer before applying. Beware of fake profiles as we have mentioned above. Sometimes you will find job posts for virtual assistant crafted extremely unclear and without any brand or company information. Always remember that you have the right to ask for information about the company of your employer. If a job post doesn’t have any employer details such as the name of the employer, company details etc. then you should not go further with that same post. Maximum chances are that the post is a spam post.

In some cases, the employer may create a fictional persona or pretend to be a third person between you and the employer like a lawyer, consultant, agency etc. In such cases, make sure you check the employer profile carefully and ask for a government ID proof. As you and the employer both are in different places, it’s always better to do a video call and record it. In addition, once you’ve submitted your application if you get hired instantly then you should proceed with caution. Most of the scammers accept anyone after a short interview and without any assignment.

In conclusion,

The entire process of hiring a virtual assistant takes a lot of time as an employer always looks for the right person and for the long term so that they don’t have to hire someone soon again. A genuine and determined employer always looking for someone who is productive, highly-skilled and most importantly the virtual assistant will be there with the company for a while. These are the signs of a legitimate job post that you should look for if you are a virtual assistant, and if you are a contractor looking to hire offsite freelancing agents, your first job is to filter out spam profiles.