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Getting Hired Online? Don't Get Scammed

Updated: Jun 5

It’s hard to find a job these days, especially if you’re looking for remote work. Even before COVID-19, the demand for work-from-home jobs has soared in recent years. Many scammers are now taking advantage of the desire for online positions by offering fake jobs, which can often be found posted on legitimate job boards such as LinkedIn and Indeed. These postings look real, but they will come with a catch that will benefit the job poster instead of you. You can learn how to spot scams based on typical trends that will emerge as you enter a conversation with the fake recruiter or hiring manager.

The Job Seems Too Good to Be True

The first indicator that should raise suspicion is that the company contacts you without applying to their posting. The job they offer will offer a high salary or hourly rate, and will often not require many hours of your time. While these jobs do legitimately exist, they’re much in demand and the scammers exploit this knowledge.

The Company’s Emails are Suspect

A real company should have someone with a good grasp of language and the written work writing their official emails. Grammatical errors, spelling errors, incorrect capitalization, or punctuation are an indication that the communication may not be from a real organization. Pay attention to their email address - using a personal email is a major red flag. They might claim that the company’s servers are down, or that the company is new and hasn’t set up their email yet. A hiring manager that is offering a genuine position will always have a company email.

The Interview Is on a Messaging Service

Don’t accept an interview on Google Chat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or any other text-based online service. The scammer will often request such an interview claiming that their phone or web camera is broken. A typical interaction will be asking for a traditional interview, then changing it at the last minute to a chat-based interview.

Asking for Personal Information

A clear sign of a scammer is when they ask for personal information early on in the interview process. Never give out your Social Security number, bank account, or address to someone you don’t know and can’t verify.

Company Cannot Be Verified

On that note, always investigate companies that you interview with. If you cannot find the company through an internet search, or it’s only found by adding the word “scam” to your search, it’s likely not legitimate. The Better Business Bureau is a good place to start your investigation.

They Want Your Money

One type of scam involves your wiring them money for “upfront costs.” Another related scam asks you to buy office equipment through their “trusted affiliate.” A real company will never ask you to pay to work for them.

The Job Is Offered Immediately

As much as everyone would like to be given a position based purely on their initial application, it’s not good business practice for companies. The hiring manager should ask for an interview, verify your work experience, and ask for references.

It’s tempting to believe in these fraudulent job postings. After all, they promise everything a remote worker is looking for. Make sure to consider the above before accepting any offer. It could protect you from a time-consuming, costly, and/or legal situation.

Do you believe you have an employment case? Contact Gomerman | Bourn & Associates at 415-545-8608 today for a free consultation

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