Thursday, January 20, 2011 myBiz Blog
How to Avoid Job Scams by Kelly Cuene

Most job postings are legitimate postings from employers looking to hire. Still, job seekers should be careful not to fall victim to scammers looking to take advantage of those seeking employment. Here are some things to watch out for:

  • Offers of employment that seem too good to be true. An "employer" offering you a surpringly large salary for minimal work is something about which to be suspicious.
  • An offer of employment without any interviews. Some scam artists will contact you and offer a "job" without requiring a phone or in-person interview. Most employers with actual, legitimate job opportunities require a phone or videoconference interview at the very least and almost all require an in-person meeting at some point.
  • Contact information that does not exist or does not work. Google the address provided in the employer's email signature and call the phone number listed. If the address doesn't exist and/or the phone number does not work or connects you to a generic recording, proceed with caution.
  • A request for financial information. Legitimate employers rarely ask for banking information right away (if ever). This is only done after you have been hired, if you have opted for a direct deposit of your paycheck or for tax purposes. Do not provide social security, banking information or other personal data to an employer that sends you an unsolicited email.
  • Be wary of job offers that ask you to "process transactions" to earn a commission. These transactions are usually illegal. The victim receives cash payments and deposits payments received from "customers" into one's account and sends the rest to an overseas business bank account. Usually this is part of a money laundering scheme.
  • Never pay someone who guarantees they can find you a job. Third-party recruiters that are hired to source candidates for legitimate employers are usually paid by the employer.
  • Be suspicious of any "employer" that asks you to advance money in exchange for employment. A request to send funds or money transfers via services like Western Union is a red flag.
How to protect yourself:
  • Do your homework. If you receive an unsolicited employment offer out of the blue, research the employer and call the phone number to ask further questions.
  • Be careful where you post your resume and what information you provide. If you upload your resume to an online job board where it is publicly viewable, be sure to remove your address and phone number. Leave just an email address.
  • Contact the BCC for help. If ever you question the legitimacy of a job posting or a job offer, stop in the BCC and discuss it with an advisor.