Job hunting is a long, arduous task, and can be stressful. This makes you easy prey for online job hunting scams. When you’re exhausted and worried, you’re an easy target for con artists. The web is full of fraud, so here are a few key employment scams to watch out for:
Sometimes so-called “employers” just want some personal information from you. They’ll ask for your SSI number, address, even your bank account. Don’t ever give a prospective employer more than what he needs to know to consider you for the job. He doesn’t need your bank account!
Pay us now and we’ll find you work later.
Reminds me of Popeye’s friend, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” Dozens of big websites are out there demanding you pay them upfront for the small chance you’ll get some job later. Their success rate is very low – just ask them for statistics. The free job sites are always more successful, and there are hundreds of them. Put your resume on at least 7 or 8 of these free sites, and check their job listings to apply for targeted jobs. Choose sites that target your skills. There are websites that specialize in language work, graphic design, programming, etc.
Selling job listings
Some clever con artists write their pitch to appear as if they have jobs to offer. They charge an application fee, or even sell you a list of jobs you can “get today.” They even tout that some of the jobs are “not available to the public” and are secret listings within the industry. Really they’re just culling a list of jobs you can already find on the net, and then selling the list to you. You haven’t increased your chances by buying this list. You’ve just wasted some time and money. Moreover, there are no “secret” government job listings – all government jobs listings are available to the public.
Make $300 per day, no experience necessary!
If they’re promising too much, it’s just not true. Most of these jobs are commission sales, meaning if you stay up night and day, sell loads of their product, then you could make $300 per day. However, you’ll probably make $10 per day. Be wary of jobs that only pay you a commission, no salary. Even though some of these jobs are actually good ways to make extra cash on your spare time, very few are good “real jobs” to consider as your main employment.
This isn’t always a scam, but be wary. Some offers claim to be able to get you a great job after completing their course. You have to buy the books and coursework first. Usually this is an unnecessary step to getting a job. For example, they promise to get you a post office job, after you buy their books and course on postal work. You don’t need this course to pass the civil service exam, and many such resources are free online. However, if you really feel a course will help you – go for it.
Avoid cash-handling jobs offered via the net. If you are offered a job by email, Western Union or FedEx, it’s probably not legitimiate. Real employers will call you with a job offer.
What if I am scammed?
Report any scams or fraud to your local consumer protection agency at the state or city level. You can also notify the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov and at least get the warning bells started. It’s unlikely you’ll get your money back, but you may help to get these scams shut down.