Job scams have always existed in one way or another, be it in the form of a fake job ad on the internet. With more and more people turning to the internet to find jobs, job scams have both moved online and become more frequent.
As a rule of thumb, scammers are our for two things:
- Personal information
But they use many ways to get to them. That’s why we have compiled a list of the most common types of job scams to help you identify them.
1. Work-From-Home Job Scams
Generating income from the comfort of home has always been appealing to job-seekers worldwide…
And job scammers know this.
That’s why one of the most common job scams is placing ads (often online, but scammers could always reach you by phone, or text) that promise great pay in exchange for work from home.
Work-from-home job scams have been around for decades, but statistics show that job scams increased during the COVID-19 crisis, as many people were left unemployed and needed to work from home.
These types of scams seek to take your money in various ways, such as by making you pay enrollment fees, for training, or for useless certifications, among others.
Some examples of fake work-from-home job offers include:
- Stuffing envelopes, which involves signing up by paying a fee to stuff envelopes from home. The only commission you may ever receive, however, is by signing others up to pay the non-refundable registration fee.
- Reselling merchandise, which involves buying luxury products less than their retail price and reselling them at a higher price.
- Data entry scams that, unlike legitimate data entry jobs, promise great pay but require an upfront registration/training fee.
- Reshipping scams, which consist of receiving packages at home, getting rid of the original receipts, repackaging the products, and reshipping them. However, the “employer” never sends you a paycheck.
- Rebate processor, a job that promises high income for processing rebates from home for a non-refundable training fee, but actually involves placing ads online and getting a small commission every time a product gets sold.
- Assembling crafts/products, where the company hires you after paying the enrollment fee and purchasing the products’ materials, but later rejects the finished products.
2. Fake Jobs on Social Media
Since 53.6% of the population uses social media platforms, they’ve become a popular place for scammers to share fake job ads.
Commonly, they create Facebook pages or LinkedIn profiles to advertise fake job opportunities, but real accounts can also be advertising fake postings.
And although both platforms try to block both fake profiles and fake job ads, sometimes, some slip through the cracks.
Twitter is another social media platform that’s not entirely guarded against fake or real accounts advertising fake jobs. For example, job scams can be shared around Twitter through shortened URL links (bit.ly or ow.ly) that lead to unverified sources outside of the platform.
When it comes to job scams taking place on social media, it’s important to always verify the recruiter/employer’s social media account is legit.
For example, if the account on Twitter has a small number of followers, it’s most likely a fake account. Similarly, if you google the employer’s name and more than one profile comes up, you have reason to be cautious.
3. Job Scams on Verified Job Sites
Even verified and popular job search sites like Indeed, Linkedin Jobs, or Google Jobs are not 100% immune to fake job ads.
These kinds of job sites work by collecting listings from company websites, recruiting agencies, newspapers, or by companies uploading job offers directly on the platform. But, although the job boards might be verified, the employers and job offers are not always.
And yes, scam job ads are present even on the paid job boards, so don’t let your guard down.
4. Job placement service scams
Another common type of job scam involves scammers impersonating job placement services such as staffing agencies, headhunters, etc.
Thankfully, spotting such scams is pretty simple.
Headhunters or placement professionals (the ones that come to you with an offer, anyway) will never ask you to pay for their services.
In such cases, it’s always the employer that foots the bill.
So, if a job placement service asks for money for a job offer, chances are, it’s a job scam.
5. Fake Employment or Recruitment Websites
At times, scammers go as far as to create fake employment or recruitment websites.
This type of job scam can be harder to spot than the rest, particularly because some of these sites do a good job passing as legitimate recruitment sites. However, in reality, the job offer or recruiter doesn’t really exist outside of the website.
Usually, this type of job scam will ask for sensitive information such as your bank details under the pretense of a pre-screening, or to start depositing your paychecks immediately.
In general, to avoid a job scam, you can refer to the tips as the following:
- Do an online search. Check if the recruiter, company, or job ad is legit.
- Reject job offers that require no experience.
- Never agree to a wire transfer of any sort.
- Don’t interact with potential employers who urge you to act fast.