Fake Jobs, Phony Recruiters: Job Scams are on the Rise
Finding a new job isn’t easy. It’s hard to search through countless job descriptions and submit dozens of applications, so when a promising offer comes along, it’s easy to be excited, but be careful. Fake postings and phony recruiters make up a growing number of scams, known as job or employment scams. It can happen through email, social media, and on popular job sites. These scammers are generally after two things: your money and/or personal information. You can protect yourself by knowing what to look for.
Spotting a Job Scam
Fake jobs that appear too good to be true. In some cases, a scammer may post an opening appearing to be from a real company, promising a tempting salary and great benefits for little experience. Do an online search of the company, the hiring manager, or the recruiter to determine the legitimacy of the job.
Requests for money. If your potential employer asks you to send them money upfront for things like training or equipment, immediately withdraw your application. A legitimate employer will never ask you to pay for a job.
Recruiters asking for compensation. If you are approached by a recruiter asking for compensation in exchange for helping you find a job, there’s a strong chance the alleged recruiter is really a scammer.
Requests for personal information. Job applications tend to require information like your name, contact information, and work experience, but it shouldn’t go much deeper than that. Companies that require a background check will typically wait until much later in the interview process before asking for personal information like a Social Security Number. Similarly, never provide your banking information for setting up direct deposit until after you are hired. A legitimate company will not ask for those details on a job application.
Urgency to hire immediately. Beware of potential employers who show a sense of urgency to hire you immediately or within the same week of the application. They may want you to “seal the deal” by sending money or personal information. This urgency is to get you to act on emotion before you realize the company or job is fake. If the interview process does not include an in-person or on-camera interview, that should also arouse suspicion.
To protect yourself from a job scam, research the company and role, and reject any offer that asks for money or sensitive information upfront or promises great pay for little or no professional experience. When it comes to job scams, remember to slow down and ask questions.
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