Avoiding Job Scams

The job market is busier than ever before as the COVID-19 pandemic has left many people unemployed and looking for work. Unfortunately, this has led to more job scams rising as well.

Knowing how to tell a legitimate job posting from a scam is the best way to protect yourself and avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

Red Flag Indicators to be Aware of When Job Hunting

Personal Data Requests

A legitimate employer would not request any personal data, such as your Social Security Number (SSN) or bank information, upfront until you have met with a company representative in person/virtually and accepted the job offer in writing.

Payment Request

You should never have to pay for a job. A legitimate job posting from a professional company would never ask for any kind of payment, such as reservation or holding fee.

Email Address

Check the email address of individuals responding to your job inquiries. An employer’s email address normally contains the company name, instead of the typical Gmail or Yahoo email addresses.

Website Issue

Scammers will often recreate the legitimate company’s website but with a slightly altered web address. It could be a small edit, but make sure you look closely at the URL or else you may actually be on the fake website. Also look at the quality of the website and pay attention to what’s missing, such as lack of a physical address, contact information, or any information about the company beyond the job posting.

No Online Presence

Do a Google search on the company to check the company’s online presence. These days, every company has an online presence as well as social media accounts. If you can’t find the company anywhere online, this should raise some concern.

Spelling or Grammatical Errors

A legitimate company would not have any spelling or grammatical errors in their job posting or website. Poor spelling and grammar suggests that the job posting was written by a non-professional and therefore the job and company is probably not legitimate.

Too Good To Be True

Be careful of job postings offering high salary for work that requires minimum skills, or very little to no experience. The posting is meant to entice job seekers to apply. Genuine employers very rarely hire anyone with limited to no experience for a position with a high salary.

What To Do About a Job Scam Posting

If the job posting is suspicious or confirmed to be a scam, report it to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.