You’re out of work and there aren’t many jobs out there. You’re not getting job offers or even call-backs for interviews. You’re feeling vulnerable and desperate. Unfortunately, you’re just the person scammers are looking for.
The following are some tips so you can look for danger signs to avoid heartache and even money loss. Plus you’ll be able to save time and energy in searching for a real job.
Although many people think job scams only happen online, this is far from the truth. You also have to guard against listings in your local newspaper and fliers in your mailbox. If jobs seem to be too good to be true, they probably are. If a company is offering exceptionally high salaries and excellent benefits for little or no experience and a resume isn’t required, look out!
Be careful of jobs that ask you for money up front to apply for a job or a background check. Remember, your employer should be paying you, not the other way around! Also beware of job offers requiring you to make a purchase (other than paying for a uniform or a start-up kit with an established company, like Amway).
While the Internet has made searching for jobs easier, it also makes it easier for ID thieves and scammers to take advantage. No matter what reason or excuse the employer tells you, never give out your social security number, bank account number or other personal details on any job application form.
If you create a user account on sites like Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com or MyOnlineCareerSpace.com– and what job seeker doesn’t – you might receive an e-mail saying there’s a problem with your account or they need to install new software. Again, stay away! The scammers want you to click a link to fix the issue, but what they’re really doing is taking you to a Web site that installs malware or viruses.
Be wary of employer e-mails with grammatical and spelling errors. Most online fraud is perpetrated by scammers located outside the United States. English is not their first language, which is clearly evident in their e-mails.
Watch out for work-at-home scams trying to take advantage of stay-at-home moms, students, senior citizens, or handicapped people looking to make money at home. Before you consider a work-at-home offer, research the company with the Better Business Bureau.
If you did not apply for a job, but receive an offer via e-mail or as spam, it is probably a job scam. Some offers even come with a detailed job description, so be careful.
You may not have thought about this, but references work both ways. You have the right to ask for a company’s references, especially if you’re not sure the company is legitimate. Request a list of other employees or contractors and contact them. If a company isn’t willing to provide references, this is a big red flag.