How to Avoid Job Offer Scams


Jun   2013



For many recent grads embroiled in their first real world job search, any job offer can seem like a good one. And if a recruiter suddenly starts knocking down their door? Well, that’s just too good to be true. Of course, as so often is the case, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is, and people fall victim to fraudulent job recruiting schemes all the time.

Scambook, a Internet complaint resolution platform, took a look at some of the common issues job seekers experienced on popular websites like LinkedIn, Craigslist, and CareerBuilder. Here, they offer some tips for avoiding predatory “recruiters.”

Anyone can claim to be a staffer and scam artists can create fake job listings as a way to gather a job seeker's personal information, including Social Security and credit card numbers, for fraudulent purposes such as lost money or identity theft. Scammers look to exploit those facing large student loan debts, with a variety of "get rich quick" schemes.

Scambook members have issued over 200 complaints against fake employment agencies such as First Premiere Staffing and Wellman Careers & Partners. Scambook is issuing these tips to help detect false job listings when hunting for a new career:

1. Look for companies using the keywords “recruitment,” “careers,” “partners,” and “staffing,” as these official sounding keywords can be used to promote fraudulent “businesses.”

2. Watch out for employment offers that seem too good to be true, and HR representatives who are too eager to hire. Make sure references are made to actual past employment or skills listed on a résumé. “Employers" should also not regularly hire without an initial phone or in-person interview.

3. If a potential employer requires a Social Security Number in an online application, or they demand credit card info to perform a background or credit check, don’t do it. A legitimate employer will ask for this information after the employee has been hired or attended a few rounds of interviews.

4. If job seekers have difficulty determining whether an employment offer is real or a scam, ask questions about the position. A real employer will be impressed by the initiative to learn more about the company. If the job offer is fraudulent, they will answer with vague answers or they will ignore the questions.

5. "Pre-approved" job offers that arrive out of the blue, via e-mail or unsolicited phone call, are likely to be fraudulent. Job seekers should be on the alert for any employment offers for a position they did not apply for, especially when not addressed by name.

Thanks to Lisa Inouye, Account Manager, PMBC Group. This piece was used with permission.

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