Protect Yourself From Scams

Once you start your job search, you immediately become the target of a multitude of scams.  You can protect yourself from these scams by identifying potential red flags.

  • You didn’t apply for the job.  You get contacted by the company and you don’t even remember applying for the job.  It is rarely that easy.  They either obtained your resume from a third party, or they pulled it from a web site.  Proceed with caution.
  • They don’t have an office, or their office is located overseas.  Very few legitimate employers will hire you without meeting you in person.  Also, if there is no local office, it makes it difficult for you to track them down later.  Be careful.
  • It seems to good to be true.  They are offering double the salary than what you were expecting, and they’re throwing in a company car.  Their offer is much more generous than anything that you have seen.  You could be that lucky, or it could be a scam.
  • They ask you for money.  Whether they call it a deposit, an application fee, or a training fee, you should not be paying an employer for them to give you a job.  This is highly uncommon.  It could be legitimate, but tread carefully.
  • They are aggressively pursuing you.  They seem very very excited to hire you.  In this job market, if one qualified candidate does not work out, the employer likely has ten others to choose from.  Consequently, employers will not typically spend a lot of time pursuing one candidate.  If the employer is repeatedly calling you, they may really want to hire you, but it could also be a red flag.
  • You have a bad feeling about it.  It has been said that we get gut feelings when our subconscious mind picks up on something that our conscious mind doesn’t perceive.  If you have a bad feeling about the job, it is likely a good indication that something is wrong.  In this case, it is probably best to move on.

These red flags do not necessarily mean that the job is a scam.  However, if you see them, it is probably a good idea to take a closer look,  and to think twice before you sign anything, or give them any personal information.  It is also smart to ‘Google’ any employer that you are communicating with to assess their reputation and to identify any potential problems.  Anytime you are out of your comfort zone, you are more vulnerable to scams.  You can never be completely safe, but if you educate yourself and take proper precautions, you’ll be able to protect yourself most of time.

(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo From: Idea go /


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