Unfortunately, you can never be 100% safe from job scam, no matter how familiar you are with the different types and the signs they come with.
After all, scammers are constantly “re-inventing” job scams, but you might also find yourself in a position where you really need a job and fall prey to a scam.
For this reason, any time you come across a listing that seems sketchy, make sure that you:
- Do an online search. Google the company, the employer, or the recruiter, and see what pops up. For example, if you get emailed a job offer from say from a random name claiming they’re a recruiter, search up their name online (or on LinkedIn) to see if their claim stands.
- Talk to someone you trust. If you come across a job offer that just seems too good to be true (e.g. it promises great pay in exchange for minimal skills), then show the listing to someone you know and trust. They might give you a valuable second opinion on whether it’s a job scam or the real deal.
- Don’t pay for the promise of a job. If you are required to pay for a job, it’s guaranteed to be a scam. In normal circumstances, you can’t just pay for a job – you have to deserve it. So, if you get an offer saying you can just pay for a position, you can rest assured it’s a scam.
- Connect with the company. Did you see a job offer on social media supposedly from a company? Don’t take everything at face value. Shoot the company an email asking if the offer is legit or, at least, check the company’s website to see if the listing is there. If the job opening is real, it should definitely be on the website.
- Never agree to a wire transfer of any sort. Wire transfers are common among thieves. They consist of moving money quickly from one account to another and it’s almost impossible to recover those funds. So, if you get an email supposedly from a company executive asking you to wire money for lack of an easier payment method, that’s your sign that it’s a job scam.
- Reject job offers that require no experience. As we said before, a job that pays any decent amount of money will require a certain level of knowledge or experience in the field. So, if the job offer promises decent/easy money for an easy job, it’s probably a no-no.
- Don’t agree to provide your bank details to a potential employer. Obviously, you will need to provide sensitive information such as your bank details to your employer eventually. However, no legit employer will ever ask for your bank details before you actually settle into the job.
- Don’t interact with potential employers who urge you to act fast. A typical sign of a job scam is when the scammer urges you to act fast to “seal the deal” and give them your money or your personal information. A normal hiring process takes at least 1-3 weeks, depending on the company procedure. So, any employer who guarantees a super fast hiring process is guaranteed to be a scammer.
- Don’t accept an offer when you didn’t apply. Sometimes, scammers will contact you out of nowhere, saying you’re hired for a job that you didn’t apply for. This is, of course, a scam.
The most popular types of job scams include work-from-home scams, emailed job offers, fake jobs on social media, government and postal service job scams, job scams on verified job sites, job placement service scams, and fake employment/recruitment websites.
To protect yourself from a job scam, make sure to do research on the company, talk to someone you trust, reject any offer that asks for your money and sensitive information, or promises you great pay for only a little professional experience.