It’s almost impossible to search for employment or change jobs without conducting an online job search. In fact, it’s now pretty much a given that you can’t find work in today’s labor market if you don’t use the tools the internet provides.
As you know, life often requires that you have to take the bad with the good. Well, perhaps not take the bad, but at least be aware of it. It’s no different when conducting your online job search. There are, believe it or not, those who will take advantage of your job search efforts if you’re not careful. We know you’d rather not think about that, but you should.
“Wait’, you say, “what could someone possibly do that I wouldn’t know right away was a scam? I’m careful, I lock down my passwords, I use Private Browsing whenever possible (well, when I remember to, anyway), and always clear my browser history when I use a computer at a hotel or outside office.” Great! As well you should. But online job search scams are pretty sophisticated. They include, for example:
Who are you? Who? Who? Who? Who? I really want to know… Often, scammers are able to make it through the screening process of job sites. Their job posting looks legit. A common scam “job” involves driving for the “employer”. Not surprisingly, a copy of your driver’s license is requested. When combined with your resume, your drivers’ license, especially if it includes your SSN, provides the faux employer all the tools necessary to steal your identity. Not only is there no job at the end of the process, you’re looking at weeks, months and, in extreme cases, even years before you can fix the wreckage that the identity thief caused. The “employer” may sell your identify to a third party, may access your bank account or even have you unwittingly participate in converting stolen property.
No deposit, no return. Or, rather, if a job opportunity requires you to make a deposit (for uniforms, supplies, tools of the trade, for example), you’ll get no return. Remember, you don’t pay employers to work, they pay you.
Psssst, wanna buy a job listing? This particular online job search scam is very effective and, as a result, very popular with crooks. They charge you an application or admin fee for a list of “unadvertised job openings that are usually “only posted in-house”, for example. Or the posting claims that the list contains government jobs not available to the public (untrue-listings of government jobs are publicly available). What you end up buying is a list of job openings that the “agency” has compiled by, ironically enough, conducting its own online job search. Which means, of course, that you could have found these jobs on your own.
Make hundreds of dollars per day in your pajamas! We’ve all seen the postings: No experience needed, make $1,000-2,500 per week. It sounds too good to be true because, of course, it is. While the earnings potential may be real, it’s more than likely that making that kind of money requires hours and hours of sales work, almost always on a commission basis. While this works for some people, it’s not a career for which most of us are suited.
Training that will land you the optimal job. Many of these training courses are unnecessary for the job you’re seeking and most of the information you might need to become a more-qualified applicant can be found online. And these courses and materials are never free!
Online job search scams: Stay aware to stay protected. Download this PDF here.