Looking for a job is stressful and time-consuming enough without scammers flooding your inbox and wasting your time. While most opportunities you’ll find are legit, scammers are always out there scamming, so job seekers need to be vigilant about who they interact with and give their information to. How can you identify a scam from a real job listing? Here are four red flags to look out for.
#1: You Have to Pay to Play
Is an employer or recruiter asking you to spend money during the application or interview process? This is an immediate red flag! Application or training fees are a tell-tale sign of a scammer, as are talks of financial “investments” or upfront purchases. While you may be asked to purchase a uniform or buy a monthly parking pass once you’re hired, you should never have to pay money to secure a job.
#2: You’ll Get Rich Quick
Job listings that promise you fast money in a short amount of time are big red flags. If the job duties and title don’t match the salary “guarantees,” you are likely dealing with a phishing scam or, at best, a job that will pay you a LOT less than promised. So no, you won’t make $10,000 a month stuffing envelopes, nor will a freelance opportunity net you untold riches. It’s best to leave these offers alone and focus on those with clear salary and benefit information.
#3: You Are Asked to Provide Confidential Information Before a Job Offer
While you will need to supply basic information to an employer during the application and interview process, always be conscious of what you are giving them. Any requests for financial or seemingly unrelated personal information are huge red flags. If it feels like a phishing scam, it likely is. Also, remember that you should only be supplying information through an employer’s secure intranet portal; any requests for sensitive information through email or chat are also huge red flags.
#4: Unprofessional Communication
Are there misspellings, slang, or missing punctuation marks in the job listing? Are requests for information met with stonewalling or overly aggressive/ persuasive replies? These are big red flags. Scammers aren’t exactly known for taking the time to craft strong messaging and subtle, error-free communications. If something seems off, it’s best to trust your gut. Even if it is a legit operation, who wants to work for an employer that doesn’t take pride in its messaging?
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