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If You’re Looking for a Job, Scammers May Be Looking for You12/29/2017

Another year has come and gone, and with the start of the New Year you may find you’re ready for a new and exciting career opportunity.  However, internet fraud is rampant and believe it or not, scammers prey on job seekers too. Review our tips below, so you can identify and avoid job scams designed to steal your personal information and your money.

It seems too good to be true. Like mom has always said “If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.” Here are some examples:

  • You didn’t contact them, they contacted you. They say they found your resume online and then quickly either offer you the job or an interview right away. Scammers will sometimes try to entice you by saying you made the cut and are interviewing final candidates for the job.
  • You get the job right away. After a very quick phone or video interview, the “interviewer” immediately contacts you to offer you the job.
  • The pay and the work hours are great. Now that’s not to say dream work schedules don’t exist, but more often than not, it’s just one more way scammers try to rope you into their schemes. A phony job description may look something like this: Healthcare Admin Assistant: “This is a work from home job. Work hours are from 9 AM-4PM Monday-Friday. You will earn $45 per hour for this position and we also offer flexible work hours…”

Vague Job Requirements and Job Description.  Scammers try to make their emails as believable as possible by listing job requirements. However, the requirements are so ridiculously simple that almost everyone qualifies. For example: Must be 18 years of age, must be a U.S. citizen, and must have internet access. The job requirements don’t mention years of experience or education. A good rule of thumb to follow is if it’s a real job, the requirements will be quite specific.

Unprofessional emails. Although some emails from scammers may be well-written, many aren’t. Real companies generally hire professionals who can write well. If the email contains spelling, capitalization, punctuation or grammatical mistakes, be on your guard.

They want you to pay for something. This is probably this biggest red flag of all. Legitimate companies don’t ask for money. If you are told you need to purchase software, pay for a credit report or a resume review, beware.

Your “gut” is telling you something isn’t quite right. Researching your prospective employer is your best defense, but some scammers are quite clever. If you start to feel that things aren’t right, trust your intuition. Ask questions and pay careful attention to the company’s response. Don’t feel pressured into making a commitment or divulging personal information. Do even more research. If it turns out to be a scam, report it to the authorities.

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