The internet has changed the way people research and apply for jobs, a phenomenon that has been gaining strength over the past decade. Career Builder, Monster and Indeed are some of the largest portals featuring jobs while local online classifieds and craigslist are some other options for job seekers.
Unfortunately, just because an opportunity is posted to a respected site, doesn’t mean that the job is decent or even real. Employment scams abound and job seekers should be diligent when applying for any job. Some are obvious and outright lies while others are much more subtle, even couched in truth.
How Can I Avoid Being Scammed?
The following tips can help you avoid being taken by a con artist:
Advance Fee — In exchange for work or for a list of job opportunities, someone will want you to wire money to them for special access to “available” opportunities. Unfortunately, your Western Union wire will be received and kept by an unscrupulous party leaving you $100-200 poorer.
Resume Blasting — For a set fee, someone promises to “blast” your resume to thousands of employers. The thinking here is that more people will find your resume, increasing the chances you’ll get hired. Even if the company follows through, most email accounts will recognize this ploy as spam.
Other Variations — Of course, just as soon as you figure out the two most popular scams, others will crop up which are usually a variation on an existing theme. Some will seem much more legitimate, inviting you to a hotel for a career session. While there, you’ll learn about possible job openings, but they may not be with that employer. You don’t need to pay an agency to find work that you can obtain on your own!
If responding to an online ad, you’ll want to make sure that the job:
- Actually exists.
- The company or person interviewing you has the authority to actually hire you.
- The job is located in the US (or Canada) and you have the right to work for the company. Even if the ship is registered in Panama or elsewhere, they are subject to state or federal oversight, including for employing staff.
Never go to an interview that doesn’t sound right or accept a job where someone wants you to pay them with the promise of paying you back later. Legitimate companies keep everything above board while scammers skirt the truth and leave you wondering.
Ultimately, go with your intuition and avoid those “employers” who promise something that sounds too good to deliver.