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Job Search Scams

12 Common Job Search Scams and How to Protect Yourself

Whether you are a freelancer or full-time employee, you will likely encounter job scams that aim to steal money or personal information. Learn about common warning signs and how to avoid these fraudulent offers.

If a job posting or employer asks for personal information before an interview, such as social security numbers or banking information to set up direct deposit, it is probably a scam.

1. Email Scams

While job scams have always existed, they’re becoming more common during this period of economic uncertainty. Watch for signs of a scam, like obvious spelling and grammatical errors, or when a company asks you to provide sensitive information, such as your bank account, early on in the interview process.

No legitimate employer should ever ask for this type of information. This is a big red flag that this company may not be legitimate.

2. Social Media Scams

Whether on social media or through job boards, fraudsters are always finding new ways to target job seekers. Be wary of any employer who asks for a fee or for personal information.

If it sounds suspicious, Google the company name and look for reviews online. It’s also a good idea to apply directly on the company website. This ensures that your resume goes straight to the hiring manager.

3. Credit Report Scams

Many jobs involve handling money, so it’s important to be able to distinguish between legitimate job postings and scams. Look for red flags like requesting your credit card or bank information before you’re hired, or asking you to wire funds.

Other common job scams include requiring you to purchase start-up equipment, such as assembling products; rebate processors; and fake checks. Using a job board with verification features, and Googling recruiters or employers can help you avoid falling victim to these scams.

4. Text Message Scams

Scammers can even use instant messaging apps like Telegram to conduct fake job interviews with job seekers. Be cautious if the recruiter asks you to pay for work-from-home equipment or software or request personal financial information upfront.

It’s also important to apply directly through the company website, instead of using third party websites. This can help ensure your resume goes directly to the hiring manager and reduce the chances of a scam.

5. Online Scams

Online scams include fake job postings that require money or personal information. These include reshipping jobs, which involve repackaging and shipping stolen goods, and stuffing envelopes jobs.

Legitimate employers rarely ask for your Social Security number or bank account information on an application, and you should always check the company’s website and LinkedIn to confirm its legitimacy. Typos and grammatical errors are also good indicators of a scam.

6. Phone Scams

Scammers often pose as hiring experts who can optimize your candidacy for a job. If you’re asked to pay a fee for information that is normally available on the employer’s website is islegitorscam.com or other free sources, it’s likely a scam.

Legitimate employers never ask for personal information or upfront payment during the interview process. If you’re urged to pay for equipment, software or training, it’s a red flag.

7. Up-Front Fee Scams

A common job scam involves criminals posing as employers/recruiters reaching out to consumers with fake employment offers and asking them to pay fees or reveal sensitive information.

Never offer personal information like your bank account details or social security number before you’re hired. Additionally, stay away from jobs that require you to deposit and transfer money or purchase equipment up front.

8. Freelance Scams

Freelance scams are on the rise, and they can affect freelancers across industries from web and graphic designers to writers and seo specialists. These scams often take place on online freelance platforms, instant messaging apps and other websites.

Look for clients who request you pay an entry fee before assigning work or require that you purchase and reship products they bought using stolen credit cards. Also, avoid a client who refuses to provide you with references or contact information.

9. Pyramid Schemes

Often under the guise of travel clubs, gifting programmes or cryptocurrency rewards, pyramid schemes involve fraudulent recruitment of investors. Unlike legitimate multi-level marketing companies, pyramids always fail and can cause huge losses for participants.

Be wary of any business opportunities that require large upfront costs. Even family members and friends may be promoting or participating in illegal pyramid schemes without realizing it.

10. Fake Job Postings

From fake checks to reshipping scams, work-at-home job postings are a popular hunting ground for bad actors seeking to steal your money or personal information. Look for signs like a shortened URL or an unusually short interview process.

If a company seems suspicious, search it online using its name and “scam” to see what comes up. Also, check the company website directly to confirm a job listing is legitimate.

Written by
John Winter
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Written by John Winter