We seem to live in a time where we are bombarded with scams from all directions. The realm of online job searches is not exempt from these scams. You run the risk of having your identity stolen, your credit score ruined, money stolen, and inadvertently cooperating in a felonious crime that could send you to prison. The consequences are serious.

Here are a few red flags to be looking for if you’re currently job-hunting online.

1. Awareness
There are fake jobs posted every day on social media, on legitimate job boards, on fake job boards, on fake employers’ and recruiters’ websites. You probably even receive emails from scammers that end up in your spam inbox every day. Scammers may use very professional looking resources to draw people in and make them feel comfortable giving out their personal and financial information. Being aware of this and doing your due diligence of thoroughly researching the position, employer, recruiter, and job board will lessen the risk of being scammed.

2. Requests for Personal & Financial Information
Never provide your social security number, credit card information, bank account number or PIN when you’re in the preliminary stages of talking to recruiters and employers. This includes providing direct deposit information in order to have your earnings deposited. Recruiters or employers have no reason to require this information from you at this point in the job search. Only provide sensitive information after you have verified that this is a legitimate, trustworthy company.

>> Here are 9 tips to verify whether or not a company is legit.

3. Money Upfront & Wire Transfers
If a recruiter asks for money upfront whether its in the form of a credit card payment or wire transfer, cut ties immediately. Legitimate recruiters are paid by the companies that hire them to find potential candidates to fill open positions. Don’t pay for leads. Scammers, if they follow-up, will provide you with opportunities that you could have found on your own.

4. Money-Back Guarantees & No Experience Required
Scammers know what buzzwords will get people to buy into their gimmicks. The money-back guarantees that they offer are worthless. The amount of time and money it would take to sue the scammers should you be able to find them would cost more than the money originally lost. Also, don’t give any credibility to posts that say that no experience is required. All job posts have a job description and require information regarding education, skill set, and experience that qualifies candidates for the position.

>> The FTC provides information on how to spot job scams and tips on where to look for jobs.

The rule of thumb “if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is” is a reasonable standard to apply in your job search process. If you’re ever in question about a job post or if you’re seeking employment, contact TriMech Services and speak to one of our recruiters!