Detecting Scams During Your Online Job Hunt

Looking for a job involves putting yourself in front of companies, selling yourself and sending out applications. You’re willing to do almost anything to show prospective employers that you’re organized, motivated and a team player. Unfortunately, your willingness to promote yourself also makes you vulnerable to “phishing,” attempting to acquire personal information via electronic correspondence that can be abused in identity theft scams. Online job postings are a common place for these scammers to lurk

Fortunately, there are a few tricks to uncovering and avoiding these phony companies. Here are a few quick tips to help avoid scams during your online job hunt.

The Internet sniff test

Nowadays, you can find information on just about any business, no matter the size, on the Internet. Check the website to see if it’s up to date, appropriately informative, regularly maintained, and professionally made. Depending on the type of business, you may also be able to look up a company’s reviews, to see what its customers think of it, or if that company has caused problems for other job seekers.

If you have a contact name, do a little social media sleuthing. Generally, a complete absence from networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook is not a good sign.

Special notice should be paid to a company’s email address. While some very small service-based businesses will use generic @gmail, @yahoo, or @hotmail addresses, most companies will have a proprietary domain name that’s the same as a company’s website.

Be wary of blind ads

Blind ads are job postings that don’t reveal the identity of the hiring company. While this method has its legitimate uses (hiring a replacement for someone still with the company, for example), it can be abused by scammers. Don’t give away too much personal information until you’ve found out the company’s name and verified that the person doing the hiring is a legitimate representative of the company.

Watch out for overeager scammers

A company running a job search with publicly posted ads needs time to sift through and deliberate on applicants, often with interviews, before making a decision. A person running a phishing scam want to do their damage as quickly as possible. If you get a job offer straight away in an unrealistically quick turnaround time, it’s almost certainly a fake.

Avoid identity theft scams by working with experts. Let us help connect you with the jobs you want to know about.