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Tips for Avoiding Job Scams

Technology has made it easier than ever to search for and apply to jobs. The internet is a wonderful resource when you are looking for a job; with everything right at your fingertips. Unfortunately, scammers are also using this wonderful innovation to try and take advantage of job seekers. But fear not, with the following tips and knowledge, you can keep yourself safe from scams! The biggest part of preventing them, is being aware and knowing what to look out for.

No matter how safe and secure the job search site you are using is, please always use common sense and caution during your job hunt.

Please read position descriptions carefully! If a position or job offer seems to be too good to be true, if you feel uncomfortable with some of the information requested, or something just doesn’t seem right—walk away or use extreme caution. Even if the original position description seems valid, if you receive follow-up e-mails, phone calls, or job offers that seem unusual, you need to use caution and common sense. Do not ever disclose social security numbers, credit card information or bank account numbers to unknown employers.

Some RED FLAGS to watch out for *

  • You are asked to give credit card, bank, or PayPal account numbers
  • You are asked to send a payment by wire service or courier, or are asked to transfer money, including via e-Bay, PayPal or Western Union money orders
  • You receive an unexpectedly large check or are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account – often for depositing checks or transferring money
  • You are asked for personal information such as your Social Security Number, or to send a photo copy of your ID, i.e., driver’s license to “verify identity”
  • You are asked to complete a background check before you can be considered for a position.
  • The posting appears to come from a legitimate company or organization, but the contact’s email address doesn’t match the company’s website domain (i.e., jdoe@gmail.com rather than jdoe@companyname.com)
  • The job posting doesn’t mention the responsibilities of the job; rather it focuses on the amount of money you will make.
  • A Google search of the employer name (or name plus the word “scam”) returns several scam reports.
  • In response to your application to a legitimate-appearing job description, you receive a marketing email to sell you job search “help.”

OTHER TIPS *

  • Be wary of postings for Mystery Shoppers, work at home, or virtual Administrative Assistants or Bookkeepers
  • If you are an entry-level candidate with little experience, be wary of an offer with a salary that is above the normal range expected for your experience.
  • Multiple misspellings or grammatical errors in the job notice or e-mail communications from the employer may indicate that the position originated overseas.
  • If the position listing is for an international opportunity, does it include travel expenses? Upfront program fees? Research the company and compare its program/benefits with other similar opportunities.
  • Verify that a URL listed in the ad actually goes to the internet domain of the company that listed it. For example, if the ad lists “www.luc.edu/hr” but when you click on it, goes to “www.lcu.edu”, it could be a scam.
  • The position initially seems to be a traditional job, but upon further research or contact, is actually an independent contractor or franchise opportunity.

*Please note that these red flags and tips do not always guarantee a job scam or fraud, but it is good to take extra caution if you come across any of them.

We always do our best to screen all job ads posted on our site. If you come across a job ad that you are suspicious of on our Career Edge Job Board, please CONTACT US 

 

Some information for this article is from:  https://www.luc.edu/career/jobsearch_safety.shtml

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