How to tell if an online job is a scam

How to tell if an online job is a scam

Every single day you will come across several online job ads claiming to pay you Kshs. 5000 weekly without telling you exactly what the job entails. The ads are always so enticing that it’s hard not to click on the links or call them up. Let me tell you something, in this world, no one will ever pay you that handsomely for nothing. If it were that easy then we would always be sitting pretty in our homes waiting for our magic cash cow to send us the money. No one and nowhere will you ever get paid for no work done. Get that right.

I know of many friends who were conned, thanks to ignorance. On the flipside online jobs are real, that’s if you know how to identify the genuine ones. Did you know that over 400,000 Kenyans are working online and are comfortably able to meet their financial needs from these jobs? Yes, I thought you should know.

So how can you tell the genuine jobs from the scams that are all over the internet filling up our Facebook pages such as Kilimani Mums Trading place and the likes?

If you have been following closely, last year most unsuspecting Kenyans were conned by the very popular, Public likes. You know the problem with most of us Kenyans is having the group mentality; doing what everyone else is doing so long as they say it is good.  Public likes was a scan from the onset.  One would get a commission on every person they referred but only if that person upgraded their account. Let’s say I managed to convince 10 of my friends to join and upgrade their accounts for Ksh.4,500 each, I would get Ksh.1000, daily without doing anything else. For them to recover their “investment” fast enough, they would need to invite more people and convince them to upgrade.

The whole idea of these online pyramid schemes seems simple enough but the problem is finding new recruits at each level of the pyramid. Eventually, there won’t be enough recruits at the bottom of the pyramid to support the level above it, because, in a Pyramid Scheme, the money earned from new recruits is used to compensate the older ones. That’s when the pyramid topples and everyone at the bottom loses their investment.The first step to avoiding being sucked into a pyramid scheme is to be able to identify one.

When the deal is too good, think twice.

Will ask for a registration fee

Anytime you see a job that requires you to pay a registering fee in the pretext of weeding off unserious people know it is a SCAM. I repeat, it’s a SCAM.  No employer will ask you to pay to get a job. Most people fall prey because the fee is usually a small percentage compared to what you will get as the purported reward. They will term it as annual subscription fee.

They might seem genuine in the beginning, paying you as promised but once they have gathered enough in the form of ‘registration fees’, you will one day wake up to no site and all your money gone. Public Likes had even incorporated Safaricom’s Mpesa as the payment mode, yeah, that’s how real they seemed.

Will insist on you sharing referral links

Referral programs are very popular with scammers; I mean they too need to spread their wings. So whenever you are busy posting those referral links on Facebook groups, and WhatsApp groups know that you are putting more people at risk.

Trust your instinct; if your gut feels it’s a scam, then it most probably could be.

Be careful; the internet fraud has become so rampant in Kenya over the last decade or so. Kenyans are one very dangerous lot, our aggressiveness is our weakness.  I remember when I immediately graduated and I was so busy ‘tarmacking’, there used to be those job ads on newspapers that when you called a lady would ask you to go for an interview and carry 200 KES with you as an interview fee. Yeah, I know, so many of us went through all that.  When you asked for their location, they would tell you to call them when you get to town or Ngara. I am lucky they never got me, but I sure was conned during that time by one smart agency that purported to be contracted by UN. Don’t laugh at me, I mean, who wouldn’t want to be employed by UN as your first job.

In short, just like there are cons in other employment sectors, so are there lots of them on the online platform. However, do not despair. I will indeed cover a topic on genuine online jobs.

When you hear people saying that online jobs are not real, some of them were conned and hence lost the trust. On the other hand however, I can attest that there are very many legit online jobs, but they require you to put in work and produce very high-quality work. Competition is very stiff in this industry. I have been in it for over three years, so I know.


Daisy Chepkoech is a Freelance writer, Transcriber and Trainer. She is also the Marketing Director at Dake Business Solutions.  Daisy holds a Bachelors degree in Communication and Media Technology from Maseno University.

Do you have any news or article you would like us to publish? Kindly reach us via or