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How To Spot A Job Scam

Online job search is an important tool but should be approached with caution. Read these important tips:
Scam icon• Jobs ARE NOT offered during online interviews, by email, text, chat or instant message services like Google Hangout, Yahoo Messenger, etc. Read more.
• Scammers use personal email accounts like @yahoo.com, @gmail.com ... Email from a real business ENDS with the company name like @starbucks.com, @walmart.com ...
• Promised money, a check, a job or something valuable and asked for personal/financial information. NEVER give bank account, credit card, personal information, deposit a check or send money to anyone you don't know and trust.
• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true. More Tips for Avoiding Job Scams.

From time to time AbilityLinks job seekers have reported being contacted about job offers and online interviews that are scams. Here are more common sense tips to avoid internet job scams:

  1. Read emails carefully. If the email refers to your skills in general terms without reference to your actual qualifications, education and specific job skills, that should be considered a red flag.
  2. Look for bad grammar and poor English. There are often misspellings, poor punctuation and English grammar in job scam emails. You can check by spell checking the email.
  3. Does it sound too good to be true? Are you being scheduled for an interview or offered a job that you did not apply for, did not contact the employer about? Does the pay and benefits sound great and the job requirements, work you sound easy? These are warning signs of scams.
  4. Are you being asked to set up an instant messenger account? If you are you are asked to set up an instant messenger account for an online interview, this can be a sign of a job scam.
  5. Subject line refers to a job offer or interview being set up. If you did not contact the employer to apply or ask for an interview and one has been set up, usually by instant message, that's a sign of a scam. Legitimate employers don't behave this way.
  6. Research the company. Visit the company's web site. If they don't have one or it doesn't fit how they describe the company, that’s a red flag. If there is a website, does it look professional? Is there contact information?  Are jobs and career information posted on the site?  Take the additional step of searching by company name and the words “job scam” to find out if others have reported scams.
  7. No legitimate employer asks for money, ever.  If any job interview - online, phone or in person - results in a request for money in exchange for a job or to pay for equipment, software or supplies related to a job, that's a sure sign of a scam.
  8. Do not accept checks for deposit into your bank account. Scammers may send a check as proof of their job offer. This can be a way to gain access to your bank account number and withdraw from it.
  9. Do not respond to scam/phishing emails. Do not click on links.  

Read Federal Trade Commission Information about how to deal with phishing scams. More job scam alerts. If you have been the victim of an internet scam you can report it to the internet crime complaint center. Click this link to learn more. 




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