The Safe Job Search: 5 Ways to Tell if That Job is a Scam

job search scamIt seems scammers are everywhere!

They aren’t just in the shopping malls, parks, or any other public place you can think of anymore. Lately, many make their presence known in the form of job postings.

While most job ads are actually legit, a surprisingly large number of them may lead to the wrong doors. Beware of these job scams; they may “simply” rob you of a few dollars, but they may also go as far as stealing your entire identity.

So how do you know if a job is a scam? Here are five tips to help you check, before you apply:

1. Thoroughly Research the Company

In order to avoid being fooled by scammers, you should always thoroughly research the company you wish to be part of. Whip out your high tech gadgets and look for the company’s website online. How professional does the site look? Is there a section that indicates the establishment’s contact information? Is information on jobs and careers provided?

You should consider it a red flag if you can’t find the company’s website or if the site’s description of the company doesn’t match that of the job posting. This step could even be as simple as googling the key phrase “is X company a scam?” You might be surprised to discover that not only is the company a scam, but that a legitimate company with that name actually exists and warns people about the scam version.

2. Read the Job Description Closely

A legitimate job posting will provide information on what the post actually entails. It will give you a good idea of what you will be doing once you are hired for the job. A scam, on the other hand, will give little or zero information on your responsibilities. Instead, it will go on and on about how great an opportunity it will be for you to work for a growing company like theirs.

The text might also direct you to call people as soon as possible or get you to follow link/s that will land you on a page that requires you to enter your bank or credit card details.

Such characteristics should alert you that the job might not be for real. Also, be on the lookout for ads that list federal government jobs that were “previously undisclosed.” Genuine federal jobs are always listed for public viewing.

3. Verify Email Ads and Domain Names

If you’re getting emails from some person posing as a recruiter, you should verify if that person is actually offering you a real job or not. One way to quickly find out is to check if the recruiter’s email originates from a general email account or from a company domain.

With the use of tools like, you can find out if the company domain has been registered for a long time or not. You shouldn’t trust domain names that have been registered for up to just a few months or those domain names that are private, with no contact details of the employer for verification.

4. Are Fees Are Being Collected?

Fees are red flags you shouldn’t ignore. If a company requires you to pay upfront for you to establish an account with them or for you to get a list of some sort, that company is more than likely looking for victims to fall for their scams.

Remember, there’s a huge difference between having to pay upfront fees for a position and having to buy a uniform once you’re hired.

5. Too Good to Be True

Like they say, “if something is too good to be true, then it probably is.” If you think that what the job is offering is beyond your wildest dreams, then that should be a telltale sign for you. Jobs that promise several thousand dollars per month while you do little more than encoding or answering surveys are an example.

Watch out for fee-based offers! These guys know just to say, and what to do, to sound legit.

Follow these 5 tips… and ensure your job search remains safe, and productive!





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FelixAbout the Author: Felix Tarcomnicu has been blogging about business and career topics for the last 5 years. He is currently a regular contributor on There he provides resume templates and career advice for job seekers. Follow Felix on Twitter!



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