A Word About Scams (LONG POST--PLEASE READ)
Over the last few weeks, there was a Jobcaser who raised concerns on many posts about scams. They replied over and over that Jobcase was overrun with scammers; they even made false claims that several legitimate job postings were scams, and this, rightly so, alarmed many of the individuals who make up this community.
First thing's first. Scammers are present on EVERY job board. This is not exclusive to Jobcase. They are on Indeed, Glassdoor, Google Jobs, Monster, and more. Sadly, this is the age in which we now live.
The Jobcase team, those who are actually employed by Jobcase (of which I am not), do a great job at responding to scams and spammers. However, it can seem a daunting and futile task. It is like that
Whack-a-Mole game at fairs. A scammer pops up, you strike them down, and they pop up from another hole.
Additionally, you have a slew of individuals like myself who do our best to alert our fellow Jobcasers of scams when we see them posted.
In the end though, it is up to you to ensure your own safety and well-being on the internet.
Here is some information about scams and the top warning signs that you are being scammed. PLEASE READ THEM:
Too Good to be True
Good jobs are hard to find. Like your mom always said, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some tip-offs that the ‘job’ is fake.
You didn’t contact them; they contacted you
They say that they found your resume online. They either offer you a job right away or say they want to interview you. Sometimes the scammers will try to entice you by saying that you made the cut and they are interviewing the finalists for the job.
The pay is great
Healthcare Admin Assistant: “This is a work from home job. Work hours is from 9am-4pm Monday-Friday You will earn $45 per hour for this position, you are also expected online at Google Hangouts during working hours. We also offer flexible hours....”
You get the job right away
After a quick phone or Instant Message interview, the ‘interviewer’ immediately contacts you to offer you the job.
Vague Job Requirements and Job Description
Scammers try to make their emails sound believable by listing job requirements. Usually, these requirements are so ridiculously simple that almost everyone qualifies: Must be 18 years old, Must be a citizen, Must have access to the internet. (You wouldn’t be reading their email if you didn’t have internet access, right?) The job requirements don’t mention years of education or experience. As a rule of thumb, if it’s a real job, the requirements will be quite specific.
Job scam emails usually don’t include clear job descriptions, either. Many job seekers say that when they ask for a job description or list of job duties, they get the brush-off. The interviewer either ignores the questions or says something like “Don’t worry, we’ll train you.”
Some emails from scammers are well-written, but many aren’t. Real companies hire professionals who can write well. If the email contains spelling, capitalization, punctuation or grammatical mistakes, be on your guard. Here’s an example:
“The Human resources have just reviewed your resume due to the one you posted on a Job board.You are now scheduled for an interview with the hiring manager of the company.Her name is Mary Wind; you are required to set up a gmail mail account and download google hangouts.
Capitalization errors -- ‘Human resources’ should be ‘Human Resources’, and ‘google’ should be ‘Google’
Punctuation errors -- Commas, periods, and parentheses should be followed by a space
Grammatical errors -- “Human resources have reviewed” should be “Human Resources has reviewed...”
Online Interviews via Messaging Services
Many attempted scams say that the interview will take place online using an instant messaging service. The scammers often include instructions for setting up and contacting the hiring manager and may ask for confidential information.
Tip: If you’re applying for an online job and you’re told that the interview will take place online via instant message, research the company and its representatives before you agree to an interview. And if you agree to be interviewed, ask detailed questions about the job during the interview. Don’t give out confidential information such as your bank account, credit card or Social Security numbers. Don’t be fooled just because the interview questions sound real.
Emails Don’t Include Contact Information
If the email doesn’t include the company’s address and phone, it’s a good bet that it’s a scam. And it’s a good bet that it’s a scam if the interviewer makes an excuse for using a personal email address by saying the company’s servers are down, or the company is experiencing too many problems with spam, or the company hasn’t yet set up its email system.
Tip: Look at the email address carefully, then copy/paste it into the search box. You can also type in the word ‘scam’ after the email address to see if someone else has reported the company.
Search Results Don’t Add Up
Before agreeing to an interview, do your research. If it’s a real company, you should be able to find information about the company by doing an online search. Finding information does not guarantee that the company is legit, but if you can’t find anything, you can bet it’s a scam.
Tip: Sophisticated scammers sometimes set up nice-looking websites -- but looks can be deceiving. Try this: go to the Domain White Pages and type the company’s web address into the “domain or IP address” box and click the “go” button. The results will tell you the date when the website was created. If the website is less than a year old, be on your guard.
Tip: When searching for information about the company, search for both the company’s name and the email address. Also, copy/paste paragraphs from the email into the search box. Scammers may change the company name but re-use the other parts of the email, and it’s possible you’ll find an identical email posted online.
You’re Asked to Provide Confidential Information
Some scammers ask for your bank account information to set up direct deposit or transfer money to your account, or ask you to open a new bank account and provide the information to them:
Other scammers will tell you to go to a website and fill out a credit report form or provide confidential information so they can “put you on the company insurance.” Identity theft scams try to get you to provide your Social Security number and birth date and other personal information.
Tip: Before entering personal information online, check to make sure the website is secure by looking at the web address bar. The address should be https:// not http://
Sending Money or Valuables, Using Your Personal Bank Account
SomeJobcasers report that they’ve received checks that look like real cashiers checks. They are instructed to deposit the check, keep some of the money for themselves and send the rest of the money to someone else via Western Union or Money Gram. Then, a few days or weeks later, they get a call from the bank saying the check is fake. They have lost the money they sent. Here’s an example from a reader:
Some scammers ask to use your personal bank account to transfer money from one account to another account. It is called money laundering, and it’s against the law. Other scams ask you to receive and forward packages from your home. These packages might contain stolen goods or illegal substances.
They Want You to Pay for Something
Legitimate companies don’t ask for money. If you’re told that you need to purchase software or pay for services, beware.