5 Ways to Spot a Scam on Job Boards

by Chris Rhatigan on Aug 15, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Scams to avoid on job boards

If you go to any job board, youll find one or two job posts that arent actually for jobs. Instead, these posts lure people into buying the companys products.

Some of these scams are easier to spot than others. Don’t waste your time applying for these kinds of “jobs.” Follow these tips to make sure you’re only applying for legit work.


01. Don’t assume job boards are OK

Even if the job is listed on a reputable site, like Monster or CareerBuilder, that doesn’t mean you should apply for it. Job sites do vet candidates, but sometimes scammers fool them too. They require job posters to pay, but the scam may generate enough income that they’re willing to do so.


02. Look for the signs

look for the signsSOURCE: giphy.com

Are they advertising the benefits of their product? Are there a lot of exclamation points, proofreading errors, and dollar signs? Did they contact you about a job seemingly out of nowhere? Trust your gut. The old axiom “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” is almost always right.

03. Do your research

ResearchSOURCE: imgflip.com

If something smells a bit off, the best thing you can do is find out as much as you can about the company that posted the job listing. This is just good practice for any job you might apply to. Look the company up and see what kind of reputation and credentials they have. Consider using outside sources like the Better Business Bureau to help sniff out scams.

One new scam is to use a legitimate company’s name, like GE or Google, in the job advertisement, according to U.S. News & World Report. It’s easy to verify if these are legitimate offers by going to the company’s corporate website.

04. Don’t give out your information

No legitimate employer will ask for sensitive personal information, such as your credit numbers, ATM pin, or passwords. You will eventually have to provide your social security number, but only do this one you’ve established that the job offer is the real deal.

05. If it’s not a job, it’s a scam

The Federal Trade Commission recently busted Gigats for faulty job postings. This “employment agency” would advertise jobs for big companies. Then when candidates contacted them, they would tell the candidate that all they needed to do to land the job was enroll in some college courses. The schools offering those courses were all Gigats’ clients. The scam generated sales leads for Gigats’ clients at the expense of job seekers.

If at any point in the application process it becomes obvious that you won’t be working in exchange for pay, it’s a scam.

Job hunting is tough. That’s what con artists are relying on — your exhaustion and frustration with the process. Keep your eyes and ears open and don’t be tricked.



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This post was written by Chris Rhatigan

Chris Rhatigan is a freelance writer and editor. He is a former newspaper reporter for The New Haven Register and The Iowa City Press-Citizen. He enjoys playing old video games, studying (and trying to speak) Hindi, and walking his dog on the local trails. He lives in India.