Ready to make thousands of dollars each week for minimal work from your own home? That job doesn’t exist – but that job offer is made regularly to desperate job seekers just looking to provide for their families.
The Scammer’s Goals
The people hoping to scam you are after two things: your money and/or your personal information. Sometimes they will invite you to fill out a background or credit check form so they can steal your identity. Other scams send you a check or wire transfer and ask you to pass part of the money on to someone else – this is either money laundering or, more likely, their check will eventually bounce and you’ll be missing the money you sent on.
Here are three steps to make sure you don’t have your identity or money stolen in a job offer scam.
Use Search Engines
A few simple searches for the company name, or even copied and pasted lines from the email can often uncover these job offer scams before you waste too much time on them. Do a search for the phone number and email address they are using to make contact.
Sometimes it will take more digging, since a website can be built using stolen content from other sites or using stock photos, so even if it seems real at first, pay attention to your intuition and use a reverse-image search or copy-and-paste content from their website into a search engine to see if it has been copied from a legitimate site. Often counterfeit sites, emails, and forms will contain spelling errors, or odd grammar.
Use The Personal Touch
Real employers want to see and talk to you in the interview process. No one is hiring people for great jobs without extensive personal interaction. Employers that seem to want to hire you through email or social media alone aren’t trustworthy. Take the time to talk with someone on the phone if they are not a local company.