Online Copy-Paste Job
Is SmartOnlineWork Fake or Real?
Why is SmartOnlineWork Fake?
SmartOnlineWork is a website that offers online copy-paste jobs. The criteria for applying is minimal and you have to register as a member to start working.
Before I start analyzing whether this particular website is real or fake, I would like to mention that online copy-paste jobs are a scam as old as the internet itself. They prey on students, housewives, unemployed people and senior citizens as the jobs require no qualifications and promise payouts that even a salaried person would be envious of. The catch is that you have to pay a ‘registration fee’. After you do the work they will either make some excuse to not pay you or vanish completely. If it was real, I’m sure some software engineer could mint money by creating a script for copy-pasting.
An analysis shows that SmartOnlineWork gets most of its traffic through Paid Ads on google by targeting keywords such as ‘how to earn money online’, ‘earn money online india’ and ‘part time jobs from home’. These ads have been running since October 2019 and the ad copies mention earnings of ₹45,000/month, which is comparable to the salary of full-time employees. The ads also mention a payout of ₹30 per ad, which is contradictory to the information given on the website itself.
Coming to the actual website, my first impression of the site is that the design is quite unappealing and the content is poorly written, giving the site a low legitimacy level. The website claims to provide work-from-home digital marketing jobs by connecting advertisers with individuals looking for work. The verbiage of the website is typical ‘get rich easy’ content where they promise good payouts for minimal work. All throughout the website there is talk of comfort, job satisfaction and daily payment. The phrase ‘dream job’ is peppered all throughout the website.
Here you can see that it is clearly mentioned that you will earn ₹14 for completing each task and not ₹30 as mentioned in their ad.
There is also a testimonial section with generic names and locations to try and prove that there are genuine happy people earning money by working online from home.
Personally, it’s a bit unbelievable that anyone would consider mindlessly copy-pasting text as a ‘dream job’, but to each his own. They also have a ‘Recent Payouts’ section in the website to increase the reader’s confidence that they are actually making daily payments to people. Honestly, it makes me even more suspicious when I see that the company is openly displaying the names of its members and the amount they have earned. I have no way to verifying whether this information is true or not.
The ownership and contact information of the company is also very vague. The About Us section mentions the names of Mr. Reman Pillayi and Mr. Jaish Mandil, however I could not find any information about them online to verify their association with the company.
There are two things which I found extremely suspicious: the first is that they claim to have been in operation since 2017. However, a domain name lookup of the site shows that the website itself has been registered only in June 2019.
Additionally, while the Contact Us section of the website mentions the company name as Smart Work Universal Private Limited and that their corporate office is located in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, the website is actually registered under an organization named ‘jems’ in Delhi.
As a job seeker, you cannot directly register on the website and start earning money through online copy-paste work. Users have to fill in the registration form which includes details like their name, email, city and interestingly, their preferred payout method.
Upon registering, the user is directed to a page called Package where, in my opinion, the scheme unravels. There is no mention of any payment to be made by the user anywhere in the website, except for a small paragraph in the terms and conditions. However, once a user fills in the details and clicks register, they land up on the Package page where they are asked to pay for a ‘premium membership’. The nonsensical logic being used here is that when you registered, you have only created your username and password; but to be able to actually login and work, you have to make a payment.
I also received an email which had identical text to the Package page and redirected me there with a huge Pay Now button.
Upon scanning the QR codes given on the Package page, I found that they did not contain the name of Smart Work at all. Instead, the GPay account was simply named ‘BharatPeMerchant’ and the PayTM account is under the name of ‘Traviya Consultancy’.
My verdict is that the site does not look trustworthy at all as there seems to be false and unverifiable information all across the website. There does not seem to be a reason to believe that there is anything different about SmartWorkOnline compared to copy-paste job scam websites which would make it more credible. There is no online footprint of the company anywhere including social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, which is quite odd for a company which calls itself a digital marketing platform.
A search for ‘smartonlinework’ on google brought up their Google My Business page which also lists their address in Tamil Nadu. There are only 4 reviews for the listing and all of them are complaining that they have been scammed.
It seems to be clear that SmartOnlineWork is likely to be a copy-paste job scam and it would be wise to avoid using this platform. This type of scam is quite common to see online and comes in the guise of providing work-from-home data entry jobs and real typing work without investment. Legitimate businesses do not ask you for money to start earning; they will simply deduct their charges from your payment. The payouts mentioned on the website may very well be a form of a Ponzi scheme, wherein old members are given payouts from the registration fees paid by new members, but it’s more likely that they are just fake.
Remember: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If you have been a victim of such a scam, you can take the following steps:
- Lodge a complaint at the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal
- Lodge a complaint with PayTM on Twitter, Customer Care or through the app, UPI app such as Google Pay or the Bank with which the company has an account.
- Report the website to Google using the Suspicious Site Reporter extension for Chrome
- Give a low rating to the website on Web of Trust. You can also install their extension for the same.
- File a complaint with the Indian Consumer Complaints Forum
- Write a review on websites such as MouthShut, ScamAdvisor and TrustPilot.
- Block all numbers of the scammers on TrueCaller, mentioning the words Fake, Fraud or Scam in the name.
- If the company has a listing on Google My Business or Google Maps, file a complaint using the Business Redressal Complaint Form. Also, leave a negative review explaining what kind of experience you had.
Most important of all, arm yourself with the knowledge of scams to prevent becoming a victim in the first place.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are presented as an educated opinion based on facts and evidence. There is no malicious intent or attempt to defame any individual/s or organization/s. If you are a website owner and would like to provide clarifications regarding your business and/or website, please get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org