Red Flag Series: Job Scams
By now, we all know about scams trying to sell you non-existent things, pretending to be a government agency, or trying to contact you via email about an incredible inheritance from a relative you didn’t know about. Did you know that there are also job scams?
Job scams seek to get your personal information and/or your money. Here are a few tips to avoid getting caught in a job scam.
- Check on the company. If someone contacts you, particularly without your prompting, do not follow the link or call the number sent. Do an independent search and make sure the information matches. People can claim to work for anyone, so make sure their story is airtight.
- Carefully check any messages they send. Are there spelling errors? Is there a company logo? Is it a ‘Company Email’ sent from a regular email account? Consider: Name@MyCompany vs. @gmail or @yahoo. Which one is more likely to be fake?
- Quick pressure. Are they trying to get you hired very quickly? Pressuring you to send your information over immediately? Be wary! If you feel like they’re trying to rush you into the job, it might be a sign that they’re trying to scam you. By rushing you through the process, they want to keep you from noticing anything strange.
- Paying them. Legitimate jobs do NOT require you to send them some kind of upfront payment. Do not send someone supposedly hiring you money for ‘training’ or ‘equipment’. That is the company’s responsibility to provide.
- Personal information. Legitimate job offers have a process they go through before they need any personal information. If the first thing they want from you is personal information like your driver’s license or social security information, wait. Make sure you have done due diligence in looking the company up. If they are demanding information before an interview or even answering questions, that’s a warning sign.
Job scams often offer you something fantastic, an absolute dream job. Like always though, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be vigilant, double-check and independently verify information, and do not pay them. If you’ve spotted a scammer, contact the FTC: ReportFraud.ftc.gov. Stay vigilant!
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