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Avoiding online job scams

Pay attention to 'red flags' that can alert you to fraudulent jobs. When an online job advertisement seems too good to be true, it usually is. Learn how to be a discerning job seeker with these handy tips for sussing out what’s real and what’s not.

Check for known “red flags”

Job scams usually contain certain common “red flags” that can alert you to fraudulent jobs. These include misspellings or grammatical errors in job ads, or a contact email address that is not the primary domain of the organisation. For example, a job ad that uses a microsoft@yahoo.com email address should raise some alarm bells.

Other discernable clues that something is amiss include ads that require you to put in some form of monetary deposit before giving you access to or offering you the jobs advertised. A legitimate job should be paying you for what you are worth, in terms of your experience and contribution – instead of expecting you to pay upfront for the career opportunity.

Do not leave bank account information

There are some types of job scams in which the applicant is asked to accept payment to his or her bank account. These payment-transfer scams usually involve a con artist who pretends to be an employer, and uses fake job ads to lure unsuspecting job seekers and extract personal details and information from them. Always be wary of jobs that request for information or personal details beyond your resume, and as a rule of thumb, you should never give out your bank account details before landing the job. 

Post your resume anonymously

The increasing danger of an identity theft or someone posing as an employer to gain an applicant’s personal data are good reasons to post an anonymous resume. Many swindlers target genuine job hunters and obtain their personal particulars through fraud with the purpose to spam them with business opportunities – which are more often than not, fictitious and illegal pyramid marketing schemes.

Avoid putting your home address, phone number or date of birth for resumes that you post publicly, in case identity thieves abuse the information available to create bogus credit cards or take out loans.

 

Check with reliable sources

Check on the firm’s reliability, credibility and complaint record with friends or contacts from the industry or seek advice from other reliable third party resources. However be aware that some of these scam organisations may even give out false references, so make sure your sources are trustworthy and reliable. Never divulge personal and financial information on the phone, email or over the internet until you have done due diligence on the company’s reputation and marketplace record, and are comfortable with the company’s privacy protection policies.

Be sceptical of easy money schemes

The work-at-home job market is rife with scams, and each year, over billions of dollars are lost to such fraudulent business. It pays to be more skeptical about the lucrative money making opportunities this market promises. If the returns sound too good to be true, most of the time, it probably is. Jobs that gives grandiose income claims or ads that do not specify the details and requirements of the job itself should raise a red flag. 

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