Watch Out for Job Scams

Desperate to create income, people are willing to try just about anything to find work.   Hence, the increasing rise of job scams.

I was recently on Craigslist where I saw a job advertisement that looked absolutely wonderful for me.  The job tasks, public exposure, and the mission and vision of the company all seemed to be something I’d love to be a part of.  I emailed the posting to myself so I could look at it more closely in  preparation for my targeted résumé and cover letter.  While closely reviewing the ad, my warning antenna began to pique. Long story short: The job posting stated the company and position’s location were somewhere in the Central Valley of California, when in fact it was in New York.

In this situation, job scammers had taken a real job ad from a reputable company and created a look-alike job advertisement as a scam.   What tipped me off ? First of all,  the job ad did not include a hyperlink to the organization’s website.  Second, the rate of pay was very inconsistent with the position level and demands of the job.  Finally, when I hovered my mouse over “Apply Here” the screentip displayed a suspicious looking web address. I flagged this position and got it removed from Craigslist.

Here’s another true story.  A lady was recently scammed by a “recruiter” who contacted her through LinkedIn.  The company offered a much better paying position than her current job and requested she resign immediately and start working for them the following week.  The lady took time to research the company, checking the Better Business Bureau, Glassdoor,  and examining their website. She did not find any negative or positive information on this company, which appeared to be about eight years old.   She accepted the position and began working as a 1099 employee on September 10th. She worked for 2 weeks and 2 days and without being paid, lost all communication with the company (this was also a telecommuting position). After 17 years working as a telecommuter, with her old position no longer available, this lady joined the nation-wide force of desperate job-seekers.

I don’t want you to think any less of Craigslist or LinkedIn as viable job search options. Job scams are everywhere and can come from any source.  It’s important that you, the job-seeker, carefully examine a position, a job ad and the company before engaging in potential employment. suggest the following tips to safeguard you from being scammed.

Be cautious about unsolicited e-mails: E-mails from unknown sources that promise to find you work-from-home jobs should be ignored completely, and of course deleted.

If you think you’ve found a scam, ask yourself these questions to be sure:

  • Is the hiring company’s name listed in the job listing?
  • Do you need to pay to get the job?
  • Does the job listing sound too good to be true?
  • Does the company ask you to provide your social security number, driver’s license number, credit card number, or bank information?
  • Does the job sound like any of the following common work at home scams? Unsolicited contact, wire transfer, stuffing envelopes, data entry, assembly work, multi-level marketing or pyramid scheme, shipping manager, rebate processor

For additional information on how to avoid job scams, take a look at these articles from Flexjobs.

Also consider joining FlexJobs. The nominal subscription fee is worth it. If you join them, please tell them Michelle Walker-Wade referred you.

In the meantime, be careful, be safe, and look before you leap.

~ Blessings!

Michelle Walker-Wade
Workplace Literacy &
Career Strategy

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