How to Spot Red Flags and Job Scams

When you head to a job board, most of what you’ll see are legitimate vacancy announcements from real companies that want to hire. However, fake job openings can also end up on these sites, put up by scammers who want to take your personal information or trick you out of some of your hard-earned money.

Additionally, if you have a public profile on sites like LinkedIn, you might be contacted by recruiters. Again, many of these are real people trying to fill vacancies, but some of them could be scammers, too.

By learning to spot red flags and scams, you can protect yourself during your job search. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some tips that can help.

Out of the Blue Interview or Job Offers

If a company or recruiter offers you an interview slot or job offer and you haven’t formally applied, that’s a bad sign. Usually, when the contact is legitimate, the hiring manager or recruiter isn’t going to skip over the formal application process. Instead, they’ll mention they found you during a search, provide information about the role, and encourage you to submit a resume. If they bypass that part, there’s a decent chance it’s a scam.

However, even if they ask for an application, don’t send your resume blindly. When you’re approached out of the blue, you should still perform some due diligence even if the opportunity looks legit. Research the company and listing carefully. Don’t click on any links if they look suspicious. Instead, head to Google and try to find out if the opportunity is real that way.

It Looks Too Good to Be True

As the adage goes, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If a job promises remarkable pay with next to no effort, it’s likely a scam. Similarly, if the salary is high and the listing says “no experience necessary,” that’s a red flag.

The Job Ad is Horribly Written

Bad grammar, spelling, and punctuation, as well as random font changes in the listing, are all warning signs of a potential scam. Legitimate companies carefully craft their listings, so they won’t be riddled with errors, and the formatting will be consistent once they complete them and post.

They Ask for Money or Financial Details

Any job listing that requires you to pay money to apply or access anything is almost guaranteed to be a scam. A real job listing won’t make you pay to submit an application or to buy a product to make you eligible. That’s just not normal.

Similarly, requests for your bank or other financial account information early in the process is a terrible sign. Likewise, immediately asking for your Social Security Number should also be considered with caution, as that typically isn’t needed during the earliest phases of a standard hiring process. While these details might be necessary if a company is going to hire you (allowing them to confirm your eligibility to work and handle payroll), they aren’t usually needed along with your resume or application.

Looking for a REAL job?

Ultimately, all of the tips above can help you spot scammers. If you’d like to learn more about red flags, the professionals at TRC Staffing Services can help. Contact us with your questions today and see how our job search expertise can benefit you.

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