Unemployment is difficult enough. Dealing with the fallout from a job search scam can make it even more difficult, not only emotionally but financially as well. With so many people unemployed, there are unscrupulous companies preying on their desperation for income. Knowing what to watch for is important to protect yourself against further damage.
Job scams come through a variety of media – both print and online. There is not medium safe from a job scammer’s reach. The fact that they are willing to pay to post their scams indicates just how lucrative their job scam can be. While there are some legitimate companies that will post vague job posts on purpose, there is common wording among job ads you should watch out for:
The company name is not listed anywhere in the ad. This one is particularly tricky. Many legitimate companies do not list their name. Call to find out the name of the company. (If it lists a legitimate toll-free number) Once you have the name, look it up on the Internet if possible. If they start a sales pitch – hang up.
“Train to be a manager.” This ad attracts a lot of candidates looking to start at the top. Legitimate companies will list specific supervisor or manager positions. Not all “train to be a manager” companies are necessarily a scam either, but they may not be the job you’re looking for. For instance, train to be a manager by cold-call selling the highest volume of vacuum cleaners. Sure you’ll be selling cleaners, but there really isn’t a manager training program.
“Make thousands of dollars working right from your home.” Really? If it were that easy, why would anyone want to get in the car and drive to a full time job? If this were possible, most of the workforce would be working from home. This scam usually involves some small outlay of cash on your part to get the “materials.” The scam is when you send the finished product back, they are never “quite right.” You did all of this work and never get paid.
Ad contains errors in spelling or grammar. While some companies may use alternative word spelling, obvious errors are a sign there might be a problem. Keep in mind that even the pros sometimes miss a spell check, but an ad full of errors is definitely a red flag.
It’s important to protect yourself during a job search. Scammers looking to make money or collect your information are on the prowl and looking to take advantage of as many unemployed individuals as possible. Scams can be difficult to spot, often appearing to be legitimate advertising, but beware. Use caution when responding to ads without company names or websites requiring registration, or organizations requiring money in order to find out about a job. Caution and awareness are your best friends