When you are applying for a job, you will provide sensitive personal information. Such items as your Social Security Number and your birthday, make job seekers a gold mine for scammers.
- It is possible that the purpose of the scam could be to collect information from you to sell to other scammers.
- Sometimes the scammer’s goal is to take all the money in your bank account or to possibly sell you something useless.
- Additionally, the scammers will use you to commit crimes. It could include receiving stolen property or money laundering and you can end up at an even greater risk.
You will usually find these scams in your social media website or in e-mails sent to you by people you don’t know. You may also find fake jobs that are posted on legitimate websites, like Craigslist. They also can be found on fake versions of job boards and employer websites.
Signs That The Job IS A Job Scam
If the job opportunity seems “too good to be true,” it is very likely a scam. If your instincts tells you something is wrong, you need to pay attention. Here are some signs to watch for before you apply a job or send your resume in response to a job opportunity:
1. “No Experience Necessary.” It’s probably a Scam.
Usually, that is the sign of a scam. The description is usually only a sales pitch. It will be vague or so simple that anyone could do it. Also, no particular skills, experience, or education are needed to perform the job. It is a job that anyone and everyone would qualify for. Often the sales pitch contains poor grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
2. The Job Pays Very Well And Is Very Easy To Do. It’s probably a Scam.
The requirement is that you must start as soon as possible. Also, very little of your time and not much effort will be needed to do the job. And you will receive a large salary for that minimal effort.
3. A Job Interview Is Not Needed. It’s probably a Scam.
They claim that they areso impressed with you that they don’t need to actually talk with you about the job opportunity. You don’t get the opportunity for the back and forth questions and answers with your prospective employer.
4. Your Resume Was Found On A Job Board You Never Used. It’s probably a Scam.
This scam is usually an email or it may come via social media. They will claim to be following up on an application you have made, and that you are perfect for the job. They want to hire you immediately. They may even thank you for your application for the job, even though you never applied.
5. The Identity Of the Employer and/or The Recruiter Is Not Clear. It’s probably a Scam.
The job description may appear to be real with some duties and responsibilities. However, it is not clear who actually the employer is. You need to ask and verify the name of the person who contacted you and the employer’s name before you apply for the job.
6. When You Google The Company, You Only Find Job Postings Or Warnings. It’s probably a Scam.
If the only method of contact with them is by way of e-mail to an address at gmail.com or some other e-mail service not associated with the business, it is a scam. The contact information should reflect a legitimate employer. The business will do more than only hiring people. A legitimate business will have a website for BOTH customers and potential employees.
They know that you are exactly the employee they need without an interview or checking references. You must begin working for them as soon as possible, preferably TODAY.
7. You Have To Provide Very Sensitive Information Before Any Next Steps. It’s probably a Scam.
Before you have been interviewed or finished your research about them, they need for you to send them personal information. This can include your Social Security Number, your bank account number, or a credit card number so they can pay you without any delays. You need to tell them that you need to have them pay you by payroll check only. Also, you should be particularly careful if they want to know your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, or other very personal information.
8. You Have To Purchase Something Before They Hire You. It’s probably a Scam.
They want to hire you right away. However, you first have to pay for some supplies that are needed for the job. And, only they can provide the appropriate supplies. Or, you possibly need to pay them for some extra special training that only they can provide to help you get started.
Three Important Warnings
You need to know that Job Search Scams are everywhere. Some can be easily recognized, however, many others are not. The scammers continue to get smarter, so we must be extra diligent and careful. Protect yourself from the scammers and identity thieves.
1. Keep Your Birthday Private
You should avoid responding to requests for your birthday, Social Security Number, and/or your bank account especially from people that you don’t know well or trust. Your birthday is “must have” information for people who want to steal your identity or your money. .
If you have posted your birthday on Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social media website, delete as soon as possible. Also leaving off the birth year is not sufficient. Birth years can easily be guessed.
2. Don’t Ever Wire Transfer Money.
Once you have wired money to someone, you will never get it back. That money is gone, forever. One of the most successful scam jobs involves asking people to deposit a check that ultimately bounces. You are instructed to deduct a “commission,” and then wire the balance to the scammer. When that first check bounces, the money that you have wired to the scammer is gone permanently.
3. Don’t Ever Provide Your Social Security Number Or Bank Account Number.
Don’t provide your SSN or bank account number to your prospective employer until you know that they are legitimate and that you actually will be doing a real job.
The scammers may also claim that they will deposit your salary directly to your bank account and they need you account number upfront. You should tell them that you prefer a paper paycheck initially and will set up direct deposits at a later date. Never give them your bank account number because they want to transfer fund directly since they are not located in the U.S.
Report a Job Scam
If you’ve been targeted by a job scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC.
If you have a problem with an employment-service firm, contact your appropriate state licensing board, since these firms must be licensed in your state. You should contact your State Attorney General or your local Consumer Protection Agency.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post on Job and Employment Scams. I hope it has been of service to you. Please feel free to leave comments and/or questions below. Also, if you know of other scams, please leave them below and I will be glad to investigate.