BBB Tip: How to Spot Fake Job Listings

How to spot fake job listings

It can be extremely difficult to search for a job only to find that the job listing isn’t real, or worse, an actual scam. Here are some tips to avoid these fake job listings.

At any given moment, millions of people are searching for employment opportunities across the globe. Unfortunately, cybercriminals and scammers use job listings to lure victims into giving up personal information that can be used illegally. In extreme cases, fake job listings can be used to steal your identity. 

It can be frustrating to put time and effort into figuring out how to spot fake job listings because scammers have gotten more sophisticated. Some use actual company names and logos to make their fake job ads look more convincing.

Here are some tips on how to avoid fake job listings and prevent your personal information from being compromised.

What Are They Asking For?

There’s one surefire way to figure out if you’re dealing with cybercriminals or scammers, and it’s a pretty obvious red flag: what are they asking for? If an employer requires confidential information (your social security number, for example), then it’s a fake job listing. There’s no reason for a recruiter to ask for your personal bank account information, either.

There might be nothing wrong with someone contacting you and asking for your phone number to set up a call. However, if you get an email claiming there’s a job opportunity for you and you’re asked to fill out a credit report form, this is a sure sign that a scammer or cybercriminal is behind it. They may even ask you to send them money, which is a more obvious red flag.

Examine The Email

Spam emails are very common and the intent behind them is pretty obvious. While cybercriminals may take a bit more precaution when sending out scam job ads through email, there are nevertheless telltale signs.

Is the email written well? Or does it contain spelling and capitalization errors? Are there obvious grammar mistakes? Fake job listings are also often “too good to be true,” so beware of jobs that offer a salary that’s much higher than usual. If you receive an email out of the blue, that’s also a telltale sign of a scam..

Legitimate companies hire individuals that write well, and that’s especially true of their recruiting staff. If the email seems a bit suspicious, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with one of many scam job ads or a phishing scam.

Do A Bit Of DD

One of the easiest ways to spot fake job listings is to do a bit of “DD,” or due diligence. If the individual emailing you has left his or her contact information, search that name and the company to see if results come up. 

It’s a red flag if you are unable to find any Linkedin profiles or even a website associated with that company. Beware: some scammers are sophisticated enough to create a professional looking website, so it’s critical that you research more than just the website. 

It’s also useful to investigate if the email is actually associated with the real company it claims to represent. Double-checking the email address can help when it comes to determining if you’re dealing with someone who sends out scam job ads.

If you’re looking to avoid scam job listings, you also may want to read our article BBB Tip: Employment Scams 

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