Monday, June 28, 2010

Be Leery of Online Job Scams

Searching for jobs online is a convenient and viable means for identifying openings. Unfortunately unscrupulous, yet creative, people have found ways to prey on online job seekers as a means of gathering personal information, stealing identities, and worse. Job seekers, therefore, need to be able to spot online job scams in order to avoid becoming a victim.

Here is a list of common red flags that can alert you to online job scams.

  • Promises and guarantees of finding you a job

  • Requests for your social security number

  • Requests for personal banking, credit card, or PayPal account information

  • Ads that require you to send information to questionable email addresses

  • Federal government jobs listed as “previously undisclosed” (All federal government positions are posted on

  • Ads that request payment for services or request that you forward, transfer, or wire money to an account. (Some employment agencies may charge a fee but don’t do so until they succeed in securing you a job and, in most cases, it is the employer that pays the fee.)

  • Work-at-home jobs, specifically those that promise huge earnings or other enticements

  • Job listings that are vague and don’t require you to submit a resume

  • Suspicious email addresses using common email services like Hotmail or Gmail

The public library, hiring companies’ websites, and Career Transitions are all good resources for validating online job postings in which you’re interested. You can also check with your local consumer protection agency, your state’s attorney general’s office, and/or the Better Business Bureau to determine if complaints have been filed against online employment sources.

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