Since the pandemic and the increased use of technology, it has become easier for scammers to target people who are looking for a job. Each year, thousands of people fall victim to these scams and end up losing money. These scams are affecting people of all ages, especially young and middle-aged looking for a new job or a career change. There are many different types of job scams, but the only thing they have in common is the promise of something that is too good to be true.
So, if you’re looking for a job, take a moment to find out how to spot the signs of a real job advertisement versus a scam.
Common Scam Tactics
Even though criminals have become sophisticated with their scams, they often leave behind red flags that signal when something is not right. Here’s what you should be looking out for.
1. Scam Job offers sent via Email: There are countless varieties of fake employment opportunities advertised by email, but often, the con artist will demand that you give them your personal information, such as:
- Your driving record (which lets them know your date of birth)
- Social security number (this is with the pretence that they need it to hire you.
- Information about your bank account (in order to transfer salaries)
Beware of any employers who ask for personal information before you start the job. This is likely to be a scam, and this information could be used to steal your identity or take money from you. If an employer asks for this type of information, do not provide it and report them immediately.
2. Bogus Work from Home Jobs: Job seekers around the world have always found it appealing to make money while in the comfort of their homes. Unfortunately, scammers are all too aware of this and have started to use this to create scams. One of the most popular job scams involves posting advertisements (typically online, but scammers can always contact you by phone, or text) that offer an excellent salary in exchange for working from home. Work-from-home job scams have existed for years, but have increased since the pandemic.
3. Postal and Governmental Employment Fraud: There are some job scams that lure people in by promising that they will be employed in the Government sector. However, if the employer asks you to pay a fee to get the job, or to pay for study materials so that you get a high score to qualify for the position, this is an obvious scam.
4. Fake Jobs on Social Media: Social media sites have grown in popularity as more people use them, making it easy for scammers to spread false job listings. Scammers frequently create Facebook pages or LinkedIn profiles to offer false job openings, while legitimate accounts may also do so. Although both platforms make an effort to stop false accounts and job postings, occasionally some manage to get through
5. Job Fraud on Authenticated Job Sites: Even well-known and trustworthy job search engines are not completely safe from fraudulent job postings. These job boards gather listings from employer websites, staffing firms, publications, or from job postings that employers upload directly to the platform. Nevertheless, although the job boards may be vetted, there is no guarantee that the employers and job offers are.
How to spot a Fake Job?
Whilst it can be difficult to spot a scam, there are some red flags that you can look out for. Here are the common red flags.
1. Be wary of unsolicited job offers: If you didn’t apply for a job and suddenly receive an email or message out of the blue offering you a position, it’s likely to be a scam. A legitimate company will not contact you unless you applied for a job or submitted your resume voluntarily.
2. Don’t pay any fees upfront: No matter what the excuse is, never pay any money upfront in order to secure a job. This includes things like processing fees, interview fees or training fees. In addition, always be suspicious of companies that ask you to purchase equipment or supplies in order to start working from home. A legitimate company will always cover these costs.
3. Do your research: Before accepting the job offer, take time to research the company. Make sure it is legitimate. Check the website, and see if they have a physical address. You can also look for reviews from other employees, and do a Google search to see if there have been any reports of scams associated with the company. If something doesn’t seem right, it’s better to stay away from it.
4. Never consent to any kind of wire transfer: If you receive any email from a corporate executive asking you to make a money transfer then that is a scam. Simply, ignore the email and delete it.
5. The Job offer looks too good to be true: If you come across a job opening those sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. For example, a job that promises high pay for little work or no experience is likely to be a scam. Be wary of these types of offers and do your research before applying for or accepting any job offer.
6. The Employer does not want to meet in person: A legitimate employer will want to meet in person at some point during the hiring process, whether it is an interview or just to sign a contract. If an employer only wants to communicate with you online or over the phone, be wary of this as it could be a scam.
7. You cannot find any information about the company online: If you cannot find any information about the company online, then it may be that they are not a real company. Always do your research before applying for a job with them or accepting offers.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you are searching for a job so that you can avoid falling victim to a recruitment scam. Remember, if something is too good to be true, it probably is! Do your research, and trust your gut instincts.