The internet is full of opportunities and can make finding a job a lot simpler than it was in the past. There are also a lot of online scammers, however, who wish to take advantage of job seekers. Across the web, there is an increasing number of swindlers who post fake listings on job sites in an attempt to trick people into giving out personal information and even money. In fact, Americans lost over $68 million to job scams just in the first quarter of 2022. To help you stay safe, below are a few of the warning signs of a fake job listing as well as some steps to avoid becoming a victim of online fraud.

To start, one of the biggest red flags is if the job sounds too good to be true. If the advertised pay is questionably high or there is little to no experience required, you should be wary. Along the same lines is if little is being said about the job responsibilities. Generally, genuine job postings don’t go on and on about the pay but will discuss what the role entails or who would be the preferred candidate. If this information is lacking or seems intentionally vague, proceed with caution. Another warning sign to keep in mind is if there are lots of spelling errors and grammar mistakes within the job post or your correspondence. Authentic postings may have a typo or two but should come off as professional and easy to understand.

It’s standard practice to research an organization before applying. This is especially true online as verifying the company’s existence and validity is only a few keystrokes or swipes of your finger away. Before you apply or respond to someone contacting you regarding a position, be sure to do your homework. If there is no social media presence, you can’t find reviews of the company and the website is bare or missing, odds are it’s a scam. You can also try verifying with the help of a recruiter. Opting to work with these professionals can help you avoid fraudulent posts and find more trustworthy opportunities.

Lastly, a big red flag to watch for is if you’re asked for personal information early on in the interview process. Although there’s a point when employers need your social security number for a background check or your bank account details for direct deposit, it’s typically toward the end or when you’ve been offered the job. If you feel uncomfortable with this or they are asking for any sort of financial transaction, report it as a scam and move on to the next opportunity ASAP.

As you continue the job search, be sure to remember these tips, look out for suspicious activity and go with your gut when things seem fishy. For further information on fake job postings and how to avoid being scammed, please see the accompanying resource.

Infographic provided by The Jacobson Group, an insurance recruitment agency
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