As Job Scams Become Prevalent, Here’s How Job Seekers Can Protect Themselves

Between 2020 and 2021, the number of job and employment agency-related frauds reported to the Federal Trade Commission increased nearly 300%, from 7,324 to 21,824 in the third quarter of each year. In today's fast-paced and tech-savvy world, the digital realm has become a popular gateway for job seekers to explore new opportunities. With the rise of numerous online platforms and websites offering job listings, it has become increasingly challenging to discern the legitimate ones from the fraudulent ones.

Unfortunately, scammers are capitalizing on the current economic climate and job market situation, preying on unsuspecting victims by posing as potential employers. These cunning fraudsters lure job seekers with irresistible employment offers only to swindle them by demanding confidential information or monetary favors. It's crucial to stay vigilant and cautious while navigating the digital job market to avoid falling prey to such fraudulent schemes.

8 Ways Not To Fall Prey to Job Scams

1. Search Only on Official Sites

Milo Cruz, CMO at Freelance Writing Jobs, recommends looking for job postings on official websites and job portals. These platforms have a strict verification process for companies and job ads before being listed for viewing. They also have a team of moderators who review each job posting to ensure that it meets their standards and guidelines, increasing the chance that the offers are legitimate and safe from scams.

Keep in mind that some job listings on unofficial websites are deceiving.

You may waste your time applying for a position that doesn't exist or is different from what was advertised. You can also contact the customer support team on official sites if you have concerns about a job posting.

Searching for jobs on unverified websites also means you might not get further assistance if you come across a sketchy offer.

2. Be Knowledgeable About the Average Salary Rate

Darren Shafae, Founder of ResumeBlaze, notes that one of the most common methods scammers use is to offer an entirely too-good-to-be-true salary scheme. Before diving in, it pays to know the average salary range for the position you're applying to so that you can spot any irregularities. However, legitimate companies might also offer higher-than-average salaries in cases requiring a great deal of specialized knowledge or experience.

3. Be Weary of Employers Who Ask For Upfront Fees

Watch out for “employers” asking for money. Shafae warns that reputable companies will never ask you to pay money in exchange for a job. If they do, it's almost always a scam. “This is especially true if they want you to transfer the money into their own personal account – this is an absolute red flag,” Shafae says.

4. Ignore Unsolicited Emails and Messages

It may be a hoax if you receive an email or text message about a job opportunity for which you have yet to apply. Before responding, always confirm the sender's email address or phone number. They may claim to have discovered your resume online, but you shouldn't immediately believe them.

5. Find Out About The Company

Perform a comprehensive background investigation on the company offering the position. Inspect the company's website, read customer reviews, and determine whether or not it is a well-known and established business. Examine their social media profiles, read employee testimonials, and visit the company's website. Shafae suggests searching the Internet for any information about them, including news articles, to verify their legitimacy.

6. Double Check Contact Information

Shafae observes that this is a factor that job seekers frequently overlook and, as a result, fall victim to cons. “Make a point to double-check their contact information,” he advises. “Frequently, the provided contact information is entirely false, or the website looks suspiciously unprofessional.” According to Shafae, even the email exchanges may be full of typos or generic phrasing – that should raise a red flag. And If the contact information does not match any online records, you should avoid it.

7. Read Thoroughly The Job Description

It could be a scam if the job description needs to be clearer or specify the company's name or location. Legitimate employers provide detailed information about the job and the company. Job descriptions that talk to everybody with nobody in mind are probably not for a real job.

8. Never Share Personal Information

Be cautious when sharing your personal information, such as your social security number, driver's license, or bank account details. Scammers can use this information to steal your identity. An initial job application does not require this information. Granted, you will need to disclose this information for a proper tax deduction and other employment-related purposes. However, this happens much later, after you've accepted an offer and a relationship of trust has been built.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.