4 Warning Signs of Online Employment Scams

With the growing popularity of professional networking sites, it’s never been easier to find jobs. Of course, job seekers aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed how popular these sites have become. Scammers have also found ways to take advantage of job boards and professional networking sites and the people who use them.

If you’re a job seeker using the internet to help you in your search, be aware of these common warning signs of employment scams:

  • They promise an outrageous salary. Legitimate employers don’t offer six-figure-a-quarter salaries for entry-level jobs.
  • You have to pay a fee to start. Often, scammers require you to pay up-front fees to take courses to show you how to earn ridiculous sums of cash or ask you to invest in equipment before you can start earning money.
  • They ask for your online banking login. No legitimate company will ask for your online banking information, and employers never need your credentials to setup direct deposit.
  • You receive a cold call job offer. If you haven’t given out your resume, no one with good intentions is going to offer you a job out of the blue.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself is use good judgement when conducting your job search and asking the right questions to prove the employer is legitimate. Here are some questions you could ask:

  • What tasks will I have to perform? Are any other steps involved?
  • What is the total cost of this work-at-home program? What will I get for my money? Are there supplies, equipment or membership fees?
  • Will I be paid a salary or commission?
  • Who will pay me? When will I get my first paycheck?
  • What is the basis for your claims about my likely earnings? What documents can you show me to prove your claims are true before I give you any money?

Another way to verify an employer is legitimate is to check reviews for the company. Search their name followed by “reviews”, “complaints” or “scam”. You could also check the company with your local consumer protection agency, your state Attorney General, or the Better Business Bureau.

A little research can go a long way in protecting yourself from an employment scam. Happy job hunting!