Industry Insight

Fraudulent Job Postings: 4 Warning Signs to Look Out For

Even with all the positive news about the job market in tech, there are still plenty of negatives for job seekers to look out for - especially when it comes to fraudulent job postings.

Most of the time, the goal of scammers posting or soliciting for false job opportunities is to gain access to personal information, money, or free labor. When you’re on the market, here are four warning signs to look out for to make sure you stay protected.

1. Suspicious recruiter or agency names.

Many scammers avoid using their names or the name of their agency, and they definitely do not contain all the information a candidate needs to pursue the opportunity. Before responding to any email or in-app message, do your own research on the company or contact that sent you any messages or contacts listed in postings. Find the employer’s official website and social media pages. If it doesn’t match with primary contact (or if that contact uses a generic Gmail or other email account), chances are it was sent from a scammer. If the account that contacted you only has a few contacts or a scant profile on social media, that’s also another warning sign.

2. Ambiguous job titles or descriptions.

Another warning sign is if the contact uses an ambiguous job title or one you aren’t familiar with. If you’re provided a link to a job that only offers information about the position and not the organization or company you’d be working for, that should also sound an alarm. And if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Many scammers sell positions that require working only a handful of hours a week at high rates or ones that require little to no experience. Be wary of such offers.

3. Cliches and bad grammar.

Job postings from professionals are reviewed thoroughly before they’re shared, and they often include information about the company as well as the position itself. Scammers typically don’t have the luxury of proofreaders, so if your contact incorporates language with a lot of cliches, poor grammar or misspellings, beware.

4. It comes with a cost.

If your job solicitation includes a request for your personal bank account, PayPal information, or credit card - chances are, it’s a fake. No one should be asking you to send money by courier or wire, and most legitimate job offers will not ask you to pay a fee to obtain a job - at least not up front. Salary or any requirements to be paid direct deposit are usually discussed further down the line - and typically not via email prior to a live conversation. Make sure you don’t end up handing over valuable information - or actual money - before you land a paycheck.

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