Job scams are on the rise - here's how to avoid them

How to Spot and Avoid Job Scams

After most jobs went remote or offered work-from-home benefits, it opened the door for some scammers to focus on job seekers. Anyone who is in need (like someone desperately looking for work) makes an ideal target for a scammer. However, if you know the signs of a scam and how they’re evolving, you’ll be more likely to steer clear of them in the future.

To recap our last article on recruiting scams, there are a few red flags to look out for:

  1. You’re asked to pay or receive money
  2. There is no contact info for the person
  3. They can’t tell you meaningful job details
  4. You’re asked for sensitive personal information
  5. You’re offered a job ASAP and the offer is too good to be true

Now that you’re caught up, here’s what is new in the job employment scam world:

More Direct Communication

Back in 2020, job seekers would likely receive an email or message through their business social media account, like on Linkedin. But scammers are getting way more savvy. They are cold calling and texting with more and more elaborate storylines, trying to get you to click links and provide personal information. If you get a mysterious text message, do not click any links! Instead, open up an email browser and search for any of the clues the supposed “recruiter” provided. You’ll get clear information about the company, setting your mind at ease to ignore them. Go back to the text message, block the number, and trash the message, marking it as junk if possible.

Scam Job Postings in Trusted Places

Scam job postings used to be easier to spot as too-good-to-be-true or shady. They also used to be posted in unregulated corners of the internet, like Craigslist or in your city’s catch-all job board. Today, however, scammers can create legit-looking company profiles and post on prominent sites like Indeed. Since the postings mimic the formatting of reliable job postings, it’s possible to apply for a scam job without knowing it. How do you avoid this type of scam? Always research the company and apply directly from their careers page instead of a third-party site. Reddit and Glassdoor are also great places to check for candid feedback about real peoples’ experiences with the company.

Postings Look Like They’re From Your Network

Either they’ll say they’re from an organization you know or suggest that a connection told them to reach out to you—but all the while they’ve simply looked at your LinkedIn profile and name-checked a person from your portfolio or network. Remember that, just because someone says they’re from a reliable source doesn’t mean you should click any links they send or interact at all until you’ve researched the company and person on your own. Feel free to ask your connection, too, if they’ve sent this person your way. Protect yourself first and only proceed (with caution) if your research checks out. After all, they might not turn out to be a scammer, but still a nightmare to work with

Looking Ahead: Shiny Platforms With Costly Promises

And then there are fancy new companies with shady practices. They are not scams, per se, but they charge you a fee to gain access to their network and hidden job boards. There is a certain new platform that promises to replace LinkedIn and encourages jobseekers to join—only to hide all the information you want behind a subscription paywall. There are likely dozens of other similar apps that would love to replace classic modes of social media connection in exchange for your money. When questioning whether you should pay to join a networking or social group, ask current members about their experiences first. Research the company and see if there are any red flags. Bottom line: you should never need to pay to find a great job.

The sad thing is, there are too many scams out there to list within this article and they’re evolving to catch more people. A great resource you can check is the FTC report on current scams and the Better Business Bureau to search for the latest employment scams. You can also report scams with the BBB at that same link. Here at Artisan, we want to help everyone safely navigate job-seeking waters with confidence. We have a vetted job board that is updated often from a curated list of clients we love and trust. If you’re looking for a job, check it out here:

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