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Career: How to Evaluate Job Postings

Signs a Job Posting May be a Scam

Be Savvy and Alert When Job Searching : Avoiding Fraudulent Job Advertisements and Scams 

Congratulations! You’ve graduated! Next up… finding a job. Job hunting can be anxiety-producing, considering the many job postings and online resources there are. Unfortunately, fake job postings make it hard to recognize legitimate offers. According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans were scammed out of $68 million from fake business and job opportunities—in the first quarter of 2022 alone!

Here are some tips to help you avoid the most common employment scams.

Job Scams: What to Look For

  • If anyone asks you for money upfront for a fee to find a job or for goods and services, don’t do it. This is the most common way scammers steal job seeker’s money.
  • Scammers will contact you through email, regular mail, text, or phone calls by imitating a reputable employer. Their communication is often unprofessional, and contact information for the employer may be missing from the job posting.
  • Be aware that some potential employers will create fake websites or post fake job listings on job-search sites hoping you'll bite on their "great" offer.
  • Since the pandemic, work-from-home scams are on the rise. You will find that these types of scams involve new employees paying for merchandise or services in advance, only to find that the jobs are non-existent.
  • You are offered a job you didn't apply for and the pay is extremely high. The schedule is too flexible. These terms are out of the norm and should be an immediate red flag to you.

Warning Signs of Fake Job Scams or Advertisements

  • Never give out your personal information, especially if asked via email or phone. This information includes Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, birth dates, etc.
  • Be wary if you are asked to do an interview that is not conducted in-person or made through a secure video call.
  • Know that employers requiring you to pay for start-up equipment or to pay for a background check is not standard business practice.
  • Job postings that appear on job boards, but not on the company’s official website, are suspect and you will need to research their viability.
  • If job profiles are not available or do not match the job role, or are too vague, move on.

Protect Yourself From Job Scams                                  

  • Listen to your inner voice. If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.
  • Do your homework. Investigate the company offering the job and the name of the person who contacts you. Search the company name and person contacting you along with words such as “scam,” “complaint,” or “fake” to check for legitimacy. Get information on the company through the Better Business Bureau or other viable business resources.
  • A smart practice for every job you are interested in is to contact the company directly by email or phone to inquire about job postings.
  • Again, never give out your personal information or send money to potential employers before or during the hiring process.

More Information on Avoiding Job Scams