How To Tell if a Job Posting Is Fake

As countless jobseekers are scouring the job market right now looking for new and better-paying opportunities, cybercriminals are also using their search to steal their identity. This newest scam uses fake job postings, including entire fake company hiring web pages, in order to convince jobseekers to provide personally-identifying information. It is extremely important to approach unfamiliar job pages with caution, and here are a few ways to identify these scams.

Unusually High Salary

One of the first signs that a job posting may be a scam is unusually high pay for the position. Scammers are posting far higher than normal wages on job ads in an attempt to entice people into applying, so if the salary being advertised is well above those of similar jobs, then take care before giving out any information.

Ignore “pre-approved” Job Offers

Identity thieves will sometimes take the contact information of people that have entered their résumés on job-seeking websites and then email them with supposedly pre-approved job offers. These emails seek to convince jobseekers to provide more information and may even contain malware, so simply delete these messages and move on with your day.

Avoid Job Postings That Require Sensitive Information Upfront

If a job ad is asking for your Social Security number or pictures of your driver’s license upfront, then that is a serious red flag. This type of information is typically only requested by employers late in the hiring process when it is more clear if the job is legitimate.

Research the Profile Posting the Job

Identity thieves often create fake profiles attempting to imitate actual individuals that work for real companies in order to post job ads. One of the first clues you might notice is if the individual is claiming to work in the US but shows check-in locations in foreign countries. Remember that you can always call up the company and ask if they are attempting to recruit for such a position.

Check the Domain Name

Identity thieves sometimes create elaborate fake company hiring websites that resemble the websites of actual companies. However, these websites have to use slightly different domain names, often simply swapping on a single extra letter. Remember to check, and if the company name isn’t correct, then it’s time to move on with your search.

Never Give Out Credit Card Information

A legitimate employer will never need to know your credit card number or account information in order to process a job application. However, identity thieves have been asking for this information under the guise of needing it to set you up with equipment for your new job. On that note, beware of any supposed employer that offers to send you a check to buy equipment to do your job. This is a scam that involves tricking job seekers into making the purchase before the check fully clears, and when the bank rejects it, you are left holding the short end of the stick.

When in Doubt Walk Away

Remember that at any stage of the hiring process, if something feels suspicious, you are free to walk away. Always stop and ask yourself or someone you trust if there are any signs that the job posting may not be real. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Your personal background check is required for literally everything in your life these days, from employers to rentals. Take control of yours.


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