Job Scams – How to Recognize Them

Posted by | February 22, 2011 | How to ..., Job Search

As a job seeker, how can you protect yourself from job scams that are posted right alongside legitimate jobs? There are still job scams being posted every single day on sites like Monster, CareerBuilder and especially Craigslist. Why are these people preying on job seekers through job ads? Because they want your personal information. They want your name, your address, your phone number, your email address and your place of employment (or last employment). They compile the information from the resumes they receive from the fake job ads. It’s all part of an elaborate scheme to collect and sell personal information for the purposes of identity theft.

Don’t become a victim! Protect yourself by recognizing the 2 main indicators of a scam job:

1. The job title is basic. Administrative Assistant, Intern, Customer Service, etc. By using very generic job titles they are casting a wide net hoping to catch as many job seekers as possible.

2. The description is basic or seems too good to be true. Everything about their job ads screams “easy”. Again, they are casting the widest net possible.

Here is an actual scam job posting we encountered recently: “This company is seeking an experienced administrative assistant for an immediate opening. You must have direct experience with invoicing, accounts receivable, payroll and general clerical responsibilities. You must be proficient with computer applications including Excel, Word, Outlook and Quickbooks, or similar accounting platform. You must have an outgoing personality, strong attention to details, excellent organization skills, reliable accuracy and be capable of working with minimal direction. We provide a competitive hourly wage that is commensurate with experience. This position is for full time employment. Compensation includes wages, healthcare benefits package, 401K, etc.  Applicants must be over 18 yrs old and able to pass both background check and drug screening. You must be free and clear from any existing non-compete agreements.”

It sounds like a legitimate job, right? That’s part of the trick. They want you to have a hard time recognizing it’s a scam. The ad above was for “Stanley Furniture” in Springfield, VA. According to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Stanley furniture cut 530 jobs in the last year.  That’s a red flag.

The bottom line? Don’t send your resume anywhere without researching the company first. If you can’t identify the name of the company from the job ad, and you value your personal information, we’d advise against sending your resume. This is obviously a personal choice to make/chance to take but the surest way to protect your information is to know who you’re sending it to.

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