How to Avoid Employment Scams?

How to Avoid Employment Scams

Finding a job can be a challenging and overwhelming task. Above that, the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic has made the process even more complex as the job market is full of scammers. They target vulnerable people who are desperate to find work and drain them of their time, energy, and money.

Scammers advertise jobs the same way legitimate employers do. They post promising online ads, place ads on job sites, and social media, in newspapers, and sometimes on TV and radio. They promise you a job, but what they want are your money and your personal information. Here, we are providing you with a few useful tips on how to avoid employment scams. The list will be helpful for you to learn how to identify fake job offers. 

Tips to Avoid Employment Scams

How to Avoid Employment Scams

Search the company

Google the company name and get information about the company to know if the company even exists. Check the reviews of the former and current employees working in the company on google.  

Does the recruiter or hiring manager listed on the job post work for that company? Search for the recruiter on LinkedIn to see the authenticity of what they claim. Look for the words like  “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” You might find out if they’ve scammed other people.

Verify the job posting is legitimate

If you found the job posting on a third-party job board such as or LinkedIn, check whether the same job is also listed on the company’s website. If the company is real, the job opening should be on the careers page of the company’s website. If you don’t see a position listed there that you saw elsewhere, take it as one red flag and continue looking for others.

Check if the job posting link to a secure web address that starts with HTTP://. Check the company’s website and its careers page. If you do not find any of the above-mentioned leads, run away!

Check for the representative’s email address

Whether you’re applying for a private sector or government sector position, the contact person or interviewer should be using an official, company-sponsored email address.

If the email about a potential job comes from a personal email address, contact the company to verify whether the person who is communicating with you is a real employee or fake. Also, has he been authorized to extend the job offer or not? 

Check references

Look for the people who have worked in the company or if they know somebody who worked in that company. Ask them about the company’s authenticity. Finding a reference is a great way to avoid getting scammed by a fraudulent company. 

Never pay money to get a job

Legitimate and authentic employers never ask you to pay to get a job. Anyone who does is a scammer. Many scams can be identified by the requirement that you pay a fee in order to accept the job.  Scammers may try to get you to pay for training fees or background checks. A legitimate company or employer will not make these kinds of requests.

Never send money to anyone you meet online. Never send money via Western Union, MoneyGram, or any other service. Anyone who asks you to wire money is a scammer.

Don’t give out personal information

Do not provide your bank account information or any other personal information until you’ve been hired. Scammers may ask for money or bank account information during the interview. A legitimate employer won’t ask for your banking details until you’ve signed a contract with the company. A recruiter requesting your credit card number, bank account information, or Social Security number should be an immediate red flag.

Do not share your Social Security number online banking username and password, or other personal identification with third-party job search apps or networking sites. Do not enter any sensitive information into online web forms on third-party job search sites. 

Employer withholding information

How to Avoid Employment Scams

The language of job listings and where they direct you for more information can be important indicators of fraudulent postings, particularly for the federal government.  Job ads that market the listing as a “previously undisclosed” or hidden government job is a big red flag. 

If the employer is providing half information about the job role and is withholding the rest of the information, consider it a red flag.  It should be suspect, as the government never hides job listings and all government job listings are free and public. 

Jobs requiring no experience 

If you come across paper, print, or telephone ads about federal jobs that require no prior experience or qualification, pay attention to this as a warning sign. All federal postings list the necessary qualifications and experience for each position, even if there are minimum criteria. So always investigate a job and a company that says no experience is needed. 

A listing that doesn’t have a section indicating the experience required for the job can also be possibly a scam.

The bottom line is this: if something sounds too good to be true, it probably can be and it might not be true. Looking for the above-mentioned aspects and staying vigilant can save you from falling prey to the fraud going on in the job market. It will also save you from spending your precious time, energy and money. 

Report any scams you come across to the relevant department and use these tips to ensure a safer and more successful job search.

Related:  Job Interview Questions and Answers

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