The FTC is warning of a surge in employment scams. Protect yourself, and your money, by looking out for these red flags when seeking a job:
The job pays very well for easy work
If a job description offers a high hourly rate for non-skilled work, assume it’s a scam.
The job description is poorly written
If the job description is riddled with typos and grammar mistakes, you’re looking at a scam.
They need to hire you NOW
If a “business” claims the position needs to be filled immediately and they’re ready for you to start working today, you can assume there’s no position at all.
The business has no traceable street address or real online presence
Google the company name to see if they’re legitimate. Look for a brick-and-mortar address, a phone number, and a real online presence. If all you find are help-wanted ads, opt out.
You need to share sensitive information just to apply
Does the “job application” you’re looking at seek sensitive info, like your Social Security number and/or checking account number? If it does, you’re looking at a scam.
You need to pay a steep fee to apply
If the application fee is absurdly high, or the company asks you to cash a check for them and then refund it, you’re being scammed.
There’s no business email
Some job scammers impersonate well-known companies to appear authentic. For example, an off-site job at “Microsoft” might request you email your resume to JohnSmithMicrosoftHR@gmail.com. If the “recruiter” genuinely represented Microsoft, the email address would be something like JohnSmith@HR.Microsoft.com.
The “recruiter” found your resume on a job board you never use
If the “recruiter” claims they’ve picked up your resume on a job board you don’t remember visiting, it’s a scam.
As always, practice caution when online. Keep your browser updated and strengthen the privacy settings on your social media accounts. When engaged in a public forum, don’t share information that can make you vulnerable, like your exact birthdate. Never wire money to people you don’t know or agree to cash a stranger’s check in exchange for a commission. Above all, use your common sense: When in doubt, opt out.