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How to Identify Job Scams

See also: Managing Your Online Presence

You’re looking for a job. You might be starting a promising career that you’ll love. Or you might be looking for something to use as a stepping stone.

Either way, it’s important for you to be aware of the job posting scams that are out there. In this guide, we are going to examine the steps you will want to take to determine if a job posting is legitimate or a scam.

Safety is paramount when it comes to your identity. Cybercriminals can create a job post as a front for their criminal activities. So, you would be wise to follow these steps so you can avoid getting scammed and find the right job for you.

Let’s now take a look at the following.

Person doing paperwork.

Where are job posting scams found?

These can be found on common job posting websites like Indeed, Monster, or even local job boards. Even places like Facebook will have these posts popping up.

This guide will help you find out how to identify job scams on Indeed and other places we’ve mentioned. The scammers will follow a common pattern. You will learn this pattern and some of their variations, so you have a trained eye on what is considered legitimate or not.

What are the signs of a scam job post?

Knowing the signs of a scam job post will help you understand what jobs are real and which are fake. Even on a site like Indeed, scammers can slip through without notice and post a job opening without anyone giving it a second look. Let’s take a look at the following signs of a scam job post:

A recruiter reaches out to you

There are some companies that are legitimate and actively recruit people to join them. However, this is more likely to be done in-person at a job fair than online. Be wary if a ‘recruiter’ sends you an email claiming to have come across your resume online.

While real recruiters can reach out through legitimate means, the fake ones will offer the job itself right off the bat. You know better than to say yes to this.

No one gets a job offer without going through the proper channels, application process, interviews, and so on.

You’re offered a job right off the bat

As mentioned before, getting offered a job right away is a huge red flag. You have to apply for a job opening no matter what. It’s not handed to any random person.

The process itself is testing. If your application is being considered, you will be interviewed. You may even go through a series of interviews depending on the job and the company’s hiring process.

An immediate job offer can happen if you have proven yourself to be a worthy candidate after the interview. However, this doesn’t always happen. In any event, make sure you contact the company itself or apply for the job.

The pay is unusually high

If you are being promised high pay for working less hours, that can be a red flag. Granted, the same might be said for some entry level jobs, but this may depend on the industry and career you are pursuing.

The only time you may be working fewer hours and getting paid more is if you are starting your own business. However, if it’s a regular 9-to-5 job, that will be unusual to the point where you need to know what’s up.

Be sure to do your research on the average pay of an industry or career path. What’s the average for entry level jobs? Is it on par or does it seem a little higher than it's supposed to?

A schedule that’s too flexible

A legitimate job post will give you an estimation of how many hours you may work per week. They do understand that work-life balance needs to be addressed. Flexibility can be fine.

However, if a job posting looks ‘too flexible’, you might want to start asking questions. Once again, you should also pay attention to the ratio of pay and time. Working one or two days a week and getting paid a high amount of money is probably too good to be true.

When looking at a job post, look for a specific number of hours being mentioned. 30 hours may be a good starting point. If it’s less than that, you may want to start asking questions.

Promises you will ‘get rich quick’

Ah yes, the three words that are considered a dead giveaway. Sure, people want a lot of money. Some want it as fast as possible.

When you put the words ‘get rich quick’ together, it will send a lot of people into a frenzy. However, this is unlikely to be the case. The closest thing to this is earning a large amount of money doing something illegal.

The ‘company’ asks for payment

No company that is hiring will ask you for any payment upfront. Indeed, a job search can cost you money because of travel expenses or buying attire that is professional.

However, it should be a huge red flag if a company requests that you pay money upfront to further your prospects of being hired.

Asking for money is one of the oldest signs of a scam, especially when it’s paying for a job interview or accepting the position. If you are asked to do this, steer well clear.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to look out for these signs of a job scam with careful eyes because you may end up in a situation where your identity is stolen. And in addition, your financial information could be exposed to other potential scammers.

Yes, finding a job with the intent to start your career is necessary, but you should know the standard recruitment process and procedure: apply for a job, get an interview, and be offered the job if things go well. If a job posting or the hiring process differ significantly from this, then be suspicious.

Now that you know some of the signs of scams to look out for, your trained eye should be able to distinguish a real job posting from one that isn’t.

About the Author

Cristina Par is a content specialist with a passion for writing articles that bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. She believes that high-quality content plus the right link building strategies can turn the tables for businesses small and large.