Avoiding Job Scams

Those who are looking for jobs look through many, many job postings on a weekly basis. Of the millions of job postings listed, there are also many illegitimate job postings. Scammers will continue to evolve and invent new ways to take advantage of job seekers. But, there are some tell-tale signs of job scams, we’ll explore that and how to avoid them.

Types of Job Scams

There are many types that each seek to take advantage of job searchers in several ways. Depending on the scam, they may want to collect confidential information (for identity theft), to get you to cash fraudulent checks or to wire/send money, and get you to pay for services or supplies. You may also receive unsolicited email from scammers. This is why it’s important to be vigilant and check on every job you’re interested in.

Bait and Switch: when you apply for a job, but they try to interview you for a completely different job because the first one doesn’t exist.

Career Consulting: being contacted by “career consultants” who offer to help with resume writing, reviews – usually they just want to sell you on their product.

Credit Report Scams: when an “employer” wants your credit report as part of the hiring process, even if they offer a “free” service. NO employer needs to see your credit score.

Direct Deposit: these scams want your bank account information. Usually these jobs are too good to be true (high salary, minimal hours, no interview), and often they involve offering remote work.

Money Laundering: usually when an “employer” (often from a foreign country) asks you to deposit money and you can keep a percentage for yourself. They’re asking you to move bad checks around, and then the bank holds you liable for the funds.

Recruiting & Phishing: essentially, you’re contacted by someone claiming to have a client hiring for a position, and you just need to click this link to apply. Ask for a call to discuss the details and do your research.

Shipping: offers at-home-work to make a lot of money by reshipping, repackaging or forwarding goods. Usually, they will ask you to pay for the shipping, with the promise of reimbursement. Typically, these are stolen goods.

Unemployment: someone, or a company, will offer to file your unemployment claim for a fee. Filing unemployment is not fun, but you can easily do it yourself!

Now that you’re aware of the types of scams out there, follow these rules to make sure you’re not a victim of one!

Under no circumstances should you:

  • Give out your personal information over the phone or by email
  • Accept cashier’s checks or money orders as forms of payment
  • Wire funds to an “employer” using Western Union, MoneyGram, etc.
  • Apply for jobs listed by someone far away or in another country
  • Consent to a background check, unless you have met the employer in person
  • Apply/pursue a job that is emailed to you out of the blue

What you should always do with seemingly strange job postings:

  • Be skeptical – if it seems too good to be true, it likely is
  • Research the employer – reputable and professional website? Legitimate references and email addresses?
  • Trust your instincts

Make sure to report anything suspicious! Especially now, job scams are on the rise.

File a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (through FBI), or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can also report with the Better Business Bureau and Google.

Our Career Services office takes reasonable steps to screen and vet job postings on SpiderConnect to ensure their legitimacy. Users should still review job postings and report ones that seem suspicious. If you found the posting on SpiderConnect, please email careerservices@richmond.edu and we will address your concerns.

Illustration by Freepik Stories

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s