Too Good To Be True? How to Identify Fishy Job Opportunities

Have you ever run across a job listing that was offering an unrealistic amount of money for what seems an unreasonably small amount of work? Or a job where the main requirement seems to be that you are a human being over the age of 18? While most job ads you’ll find are for real opportunities, you may run into a situation where you have questions about its legitimacy. When you are scouring the net for job opportunities, here are four red flags to keep an eye out for:

#1: The Money and Work Just Doesn’t Add Up

A good rule of thumb with your job search is that if a job listing is paying way more than it should, you should be very suspicious. This isn’t to say that companies won’t spend a little more to get the ideal candidates, but if a company is offering CEO-level pay for a part-time position there may be something they aren’t telling you. At worst you could be dealing with a  scam to get your information, but even at the best, you are probably dealing with a situation where you may “earn up to” situation, meaning that you’ll end up taking home much, much less than is advertised. In other words, no, you won’t be making $10k/month stuffing envelopes. Sorry.

#2: You Have To Invest Money to Get the Job

While it is technically legal in some states to charge an application fee to apply for a job, it is extremely rare in this day and age, so the idea that you have to invest money to get a job should be cause for alarm. If a job is promising you a huge paycheck after sending them a couple hundred dollars for “training materials” there is a very good chance you are dealing with a scam. Also, while it’s true that most legitimate companies will ask for your social security number at some point during the hiring process, you should never need to supply your credit card or bank account info.

#3: The Job Descriptions and Requirements Are Super Duper Vague

While length and structure may vary, a legit job ad is going to give you a relatively clear idea on what the job entails and basic qualifications that are needed to do it. If you run across an ad that is big on promises (“Make HUGE money at home in your pjs!”) but very vague on how you are going to actually achieve this, that is a big red flag. While scammers have become a bit better at making job offers look legit by including more details, they will typically list qualifications that don’t disqualify anyone who may be looking at the ad. For examples, if the perfect candidate “must be 18, know how to use a phone, and want to make big money,” they aren’t exactly limiting who will apply.

#4: It Just Feels Like Something Is Off

What if an ad looks professional and is devoid of any obvious red flags, but you just can’t shake the feeling like something is off about it? In these situations, you are best to follow your instincts and do a little more research before you commit to applying. A quick internet search should be able to tell you the legitimacy of the employer, as most companies won’t make it hard for a job seeker to find basic information on them. If you find a number, call it, and make sure you ask them any questions you may have.

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