How To Spot A Job Scam?

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:

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:

Unprofessional Emails

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.

Liam Baker Avatar

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9 responses to “How To Spot A Job Scam?”

  1. I get so many emails about job offers and I’m so glad I read your scam alert thank you

  2. […] if you use your time right and research the right websites, you could find a great side gig! Read How to Spot a Job Scam to better your […]

  3. I think that this information to job seekers like myself is so great I can’t express my gratitude enough. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  4. The above heads up about potential job scams is greatly appreciated. Preying on honest people who are desperate for work is a particularly heinous practice.
    Hopefully our government will enlist a plan to hunt down & bring these despicable individuals to justice !

  5. Michelle Weaver Avatar
    Michelle Weaver

    I just got scammed by a fake job. Should of known by the pay but I was just excited and thought something good finally happened for me. It was data entry remote job. He sent me a check for $1,000.00 and said to deposit it into my bank account through mobile. After that he said to get a cash app account and put the money on that and send him a screen shot showing funds were in my account. I knew, I asked why I had to get a cash app? And then he asked why I was acting crazy. Lol. I left the check in my bank account, thank god, Huntington took it back and I got a fine for it.

  6. Dionne Hofmeister Avatar
    Dionne Hofmeister

    Just hopped back into the job-seeking jungle & am so glad I came across this little article on avoiding scams! I’ve already spotted a few of these very scams! It’s discouraging…

    1. We completely understand how discouraging it can be to encounter scams while searching for a job. It’s disheartening to come across fraudulent activities when you’re already navigating the complexities of the job-seeking process. However, we’re glad to hear that our article on avoiding scams has been helpful to you.

      Stay resilient and keep pushing forward. Learn from each encounter and use it to sharpen your skills and instincts. By staying cautious, informed, and proactive, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the job-seeking jungle and find the right opportunity for you. Best of luck in your job search!

  7. Nancy JenningsSapp Avatar
    Nancy JenningsSapp

    It’s good to get some positive direction during the stress of locating a new job. These days there are so many scams that you lose yourself in your goals not paying attention to the immediate scams that are preying on you. Thanks for the positive advice you have provided.

  8. Elizabeth Lowenstein Avatar
    Elizabeth Lowenstein

    Thanks for this dynamic info!
    Was able to avoid a scam after detecting the request of buying gift card for tracking before they could mail equipment to start the training. It was too good to be true and I blatantly told them not to waste my time.
    Did my due diligence and investigative prowess’s to ensure I don’t get duped ….

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