Looking for a job can be a stressful process and the unfortunate reality is that there are nearly always scammers out there looking to take advantage of people who are in vulnerable states. Individuals in the midst of a long job hunt that has yet to provide solid results can be very susceptible to these kinds of scams, because of the financial stresses that can begin to arise while unemployed. Because of this, the number of job scams, typically online, have become numerous. That’s why it’s especially important to have the proper information: the more informed you are on the common practices that job scammers use, the more likely you are to spot red flags. Here are 4 ways to spot job employment scams.
1. The Application Wants an Unusual Amount of Information...or Money
One very common tactic used by job scammers is to either request an unusual amount of personal information - such as credit or debit card information - or the need to pay money up front to cover “training costs”. Stay away from any job listings that are offering this kind of deal or requirement. As the FTC notes, “Employers and employment firms shouldn’t ask you to pay for the promise of a job.”
2. Unlikely Promises are Made
Any job that is offering guarantees about employment that seem highly unusual or unlikely are more than likely scams. Things like an employment guarantee for doing xyz sounds too good to be true and that’s probably because it is. No legitimate employer can 100% guarantee a job to you when you’re only in the early stages of the application process, so if that’s something you see offered, stay away.
3. The Company Has Little to No Online Presence
Almost every company is going to have some kind of online presence, and the absence of a legitimate looking website or employee reviews should set off alarm bells in your head. Do your research on any place that you are considering applying to and trust your intuition if something seems fishy or suspect. We all spend enough time in the online space now to have a good sense of what is legitimate and what is not - use that sense!
4. There’s Something Off About Interactions With the “Employer”
This is another one of those intuition-led signs, but if you’re communicating with a legitimate employer, you should be seeing little to no errors in terms of grammar. Naturally, a spelling error here and there is something that can occur, but if you’re noticing emails full of spelling errors and odd formatting, there’s a significant chance that the people you’re communicating with aren’t truly professionals at all. Think about it like this: is a legitimate business going to be consistently sending unprofessional-sounding emails if they are in need of filling a position? Chances are slim, so if you’re noticing unusual communications, consider it a big red flag that something is amiss.
If you do suspect that you’ve come across a job scam, it’s important to file a complaint with the FTC so that the scammer can at least be on the proper authorities radar. It’s also important that you’re working with a financial institution that you can trust is looking out for you and your financial security. That’s why HRCCU has heavily invested resources in our security center. We want to keep your money safe and provide the peace of mind that even if you do fall prey to one of these scams, the proper protections are in place to prevent your identity (and money) from being stolen.
Want to learn more about how we make sure your money stays where it belongs? Read our related post, “4 Ways Credit Unions Protect you and Your Finances”!