RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Many "unemployed" workers are turning to freelance jobs to pay the bills. While there is some good work to be found, the better business bureau says there are scams to look out for as well.
"There are a lot of people looking for freelance work." Freelancer Matthew Boyd is one of them -- one of more than a quarter of the United States working population who rely on temporary work. "I am laid off fulltime."
So to pay the bills…."I was just cruising on Craigslist and wanted a fan photography job for the Harlem Globetrotters. I thought 'that sounds pretty cool.' I have a couple cameras, they said 'sure, come on down' and I've been doing it for three years ever since."
U.S. job reports show an increase in freelance workers for the past several months. These jobs don't provide health insurance and there are no set hours, but..."It's very convenient."
Convenient to find on many internet sites from Craigslist...to odesk.com...elance.com...sologig.com...and virtual assistants.com
"I may have to take a look at this myself," he said.
But remember these sites are just as accessible to scam artists.
"The websites are ok but what you don't know about is the people posting the jobs," said Dick Eppstein, Better Business Bureau.
So before taking a job, do your research on the company by contacting them directly. And don't forget to get references.
"Call the references on the phone how much did you get paid," Eppstein said.
But keep in mind, scammers have thought of an answer for that too.
"It's not 100 percent reliable because there is a lot of astroturfing on the net...family members will get in and say 'yes I worked with him,'" he said.
So start out small, taking low paying jobs first so you make money and don't end up losing in the end.
"We all need work but you have to be careful don't jump in with both feet stick the toe in slowly or you could get stuck for a lot of money," Boyd said.