How to keep your job search safe

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Definition of fraudAs if the recession isn’t hard enough without people preying on those who are desperate to find a job — any job — that will help keep them afloat.

This morning, Good Morning America ran a segment about the latest job search scam that promises income from home using Google and claims to be endorsed by CNN and ABC. (None of the organizations have endorsed the site.)

The site advertised a special business kit that that would help the person earn income doing sales or marketing work online. That user just had to purchase the kit for a fee. There’s your red flag.

While there are some valid “non-traditional job postings” that do charge a fee, many are not verifiable. If you want to learn more about the differences between these and scams, click here.

Signs of a Scam
When searching for a job online there are several things you should look out for. Here are just a few:

  • As a job seeker the best prevention is to avoid being temped by offers that appear to be “too good to be true.”
  • Be cautious of any employer offering employment without an interview, either by phone or in person. No legitimate employer will hire you without first conducting an interview.
  • Thoroughly investigate any employer who requires a fee before you can start working for them. Rarely will you find a legitimate employer requesting a fee… they should be paying you!
  • Do not provide your Social Security number or any other sensitive information unless you are confident that the employer requesting the information is legitimate.
  • Avoid vague offers, as these are often scams. If the employer is not willing to specifically describe the position, you probably don’t want it.
  • Look at the e-mail address that sent that great opportunity. Even though it might look like it’s from a reputable firm, take a closer look. Hover your your mouse over the “From” address. Does it match the text or does it look like a completely different address?

 

If you suspect something is a scam, reach out to the organization that supposedly sent the email. For example, CareerBuilder has an entire team dedicated to monitoring and preventing fraud on its site with information for the job seeker. Other Web sites, like the Better Business Bureau, help by allowing you to search their database of customer inquiries and complaints about a certain company.

2 Comments
  1. Great tips! According to Pew Internet Project, 52 million Americans have hit the Internet in search of a job. That’s a 60-percent jump over the number of people who used the Internet in their online job searches in March 2000. On an average day, more than 4 million people search out new opportunities on the Net, which is 33 percent higher than the daily job-search traffic two years ago! So job seekers need to be careful out there!

    To add to your article, here’s a few ways job seekers can protect themselves from online scams:

    1. Read compliance act within all job boards (all major job boards have this, Monster, CB)
    2. Research all openings before applying (Can you find company online? Is the job posted on the company’s website? Do the job duties match up with what would normally be expected in that position?)
    3. Delete references from your resume
    4. Use a disposable email address that can be deleted
    5. Never include personal info on resume
    6. Keep a record of where you posted your resume online
    7. Post your resume “privately” online, masks your contact info
    8. Limit cookies on your computer that allow tracking of the sites you’ve visited

    Hope this helps!

  2. Pingback: Beware of Scams! « The Job Quest

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