You’ve seen job postings on job boards, job search sites, Craigslist, Monster, and you want to apply for some of them because they seem great! You can work at home, the pay is good, and sometimes there’s no real experience required. However, the job almost seems too perfect, and something doesn’t feel right! If you have some doubt, this is a clear warning sign that the posting may be a job scam.
Job scams are on the rise and are more widespread than ever before. Today, there are more job boards available for job seekers to search through thousands of listings. Unfortunately, job scammers are aware of this and take advantage of this opportunity to post their job listings on legitimate job boards. You don’t even realize it until it’s too late. But what job scams should you look out for, and how can you avoid them?
Here are a few warning signs to look out for:
- Work-from-home job scams promising you can earn thousands of dollars a month stuffing envelopes, doing data entry, or transcribing.
- Job listings that require an up-front fee to get the job or say you have to pay for your training.
- If the job listing tells you not to contact their corporate office, that’s a warning sign.
- Look out for an “email us now” or “apply online” button on your job search result page. To find jobs that are real, look for job opportunities at job search sites like CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com or job boards like higher-hire.com.
So how can we avoid job scams?
It is vital to be educated and always on the lookout for legitimate job postings to prevent scams. Never apply blindly to job advertisements because you will end up wasting too much time and effort for nothing in return. It is always best to research companies you are interested in working for to understand their job requirements.
Vague Job Description and Requirements
More often than not, job scams will advertise vague job descriptions and job requirements. For example, the job advertisement may promote job benefits without stating what the job is. Or, the job advertisement may not mention job requirements, making it look like anyone can apply to that job opening. Most importantly, job advertisements that are vague about job requirements and descriptions are likely to be job scams because they prey on unsuspecting job seekers who are desperate for job opportunities. See example below:
Employers who use unprofessional emails are considered suspicious. Job seekers should avoid applying for jobs where the employer offers using unprofessional email addresses such as non-company email addresses or personal mailboxes. Job scam artists often use unprofessional email addresses, such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. They may also send job seekers emails from job descriptions copied and pasted onto their official company letterhead. See example below:
Online Job Interviews (Messaging Services)
If you are sent a job interview request via instant messenger, social networking sites like Facebook Messenger, Google Chat, or Skype are usually a job scam. Job scammers use these online job interview methods to easily lie about their identity and convince job seekers that the job they are interviewing for is real to steal job seekers’ documents and banking information. See example below:
Emails Without Contact Info
If you respond to an email with no way to contact the sender (i.e., phone number, website, or social media), that’s usually a red flag. The scammers don’t want job seekers to contact them and verify whether the job is real or not. See example below:
Inconsistent Search Results
When job seekers google job postings, they should see multiple job postings on different job boards, company websites, and social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. If job seekers see only one job posting, that’s usually a job scam.
Providing Confidential Information
Job seekers should never share their bank account information with job recruiters or companies unless they are confident they are legitimate. Likewise, job applicants should never send job recruiters money via a bank transfer or any other method without verifying they are dealing with legitimate job recruiters. Job seekers should avoid communicating with job scammers beyond the job ad itself. Any job applicant who receives an email that appears to be from a recruiter asking for personal information without an invitation to apply for a job or job interview should not respond. The position may not be legitimate, and any job seeker who shares personal information could fall victim to identity theft.
Before you say yes to a job offer or tell your friends and family about the job of your dreams, do your research! Job seekers should be wary of job offers that appear too good to be true and job listings with vague job requirements and descriptions. When in doubt, applicants can avoid job scams by verifying job leads with the proper authorities such as the Better Business Bureau and the Department of Labor.