Job seeking nowadays is a very complex task, and if you add the presence of employment
scammers to the picture, it can be quite scary. These scammers dangle the carrot of employment
while they attempt to get access to your personal information and money. Employment
scammers try to trick job seekers using the same methods that real employers do—with job ads
online, in newspapers and even on TV or a radio. They even reach out to people directly via
social media, phone, or email.
Are you wondering what the warning signs and red flags of job scams are? Let’s have a look!
1) When employer or recruiter reaches out first
While it is not an automatic sign of a job scam, employer reaching out directly to you unsolicited
should at the very least make you question the legitimacy of the job offer. Job recruiters can and
do reach out to qualified candidates directly to fill real positions, but keep in mind that this is
also one of the main tactics of job scammers. So, what should you do in a situation in which you
are contacted by an employer for a job that you didn’t apply for? Do your homework and verify
that the employer is legitimate before you provide any information about yourself.
2) Receiving an immediate job offer
Receiving an immediate job offer without going through an official hiring process is very likely
a scam. Vast majority of legitimate employers will want to review your qualifications during a
screening interview with a hiring manager before offering a job.
3) If employer requests a payment from you
Job seekers should be prepared to pay the normal expenses associated with job seeking such as
professional clothes or traveling to job interviews. However, an example of something you
should never have to pay for is an application fee, training, or supplies. You should never have to
pay a fee to apply for or accept a job, and therefore, be wary of any company that requests a
payment from you during the hiring process.
4) It sounds too good to be true
Anyone promising that you can make a lot of money without working too hard is probably lying.
Also, be wary if they are offering an unusually flexible schedule or extremely high
salary—chances are it could be a scam.
5) Unprofessional communication
Be on the lookout for grammar, spelling and syntax mistakes in job offer emails. Mistakes in
communication don’t automatically mean that it’s a scam as people can make mistakes, but it
should at the very least alert you to tread carefully. Do your due diligence and research the
6) The job listing is missing essential information
Is the listing fuzzy on the actual duties of the job and candidate qualifications? Are you able to
find basic company information such as their location, contact information, or professional
website? If not, it may not be the real deal.
7) The employer asks for personal information before you get hired
Your employer will need some personal information after you get hired. For instance, you must
provide your Social Security Number (SSN) for tax purposes and bank account information for
direct deposit. But if a potential employer asks for these things before you are hired, it’s likely a
scam as all they need before they hire you is your name, contact information, and your location.
HOW TO SPOT AN EMPLOYMENT SCAM
Take the following five steps to avoid employment scams:
This blog post was originally published on IdentityIQ’s website.
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