The other day, I was on the phone with a recent graduate as he relayed his story about a scam that he was caught in through a job posting. As with anything, hindsight is 20/20 and the warning signs were there, but much easier to see when one knows what to look for. So, what are some of the tells that should raise red flags for job seekers?
- You must give your credit card or bank account numbers, or copies of personal documents – but you get nothing in writing.
- You must send payment by wire service or courier.
- You are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account – often for depositing checks or transferring money.
- You receive an unexpectedly large check.
- The position requirements are vastly different from the ones detailed in the job posting.
- The company requires you to pay for supplies up-front.
- If the salary seems overly generous for the amount of work you need to perform.
- The employer is willing to “hire” you without any face-to-face interview.
- Work at home opportunities
The top three bullet points should make a job seeker run in the other direction. The last ones are major warning signs, but MAY be acceptable depending upon the unique situation – a thorough due diligence check should be performed if any of these bulleted items appear in your job search.
This tends to be the season when more scams pop up – recent grads looking for work and high school/college students looking for summer employment – so be on the lookout. I always counsel individuals that if they have a sense something is off with the company/job, trust your instincts.
Just saw this article on MSNBC.com about Gulf Coast Clean-Up jobs. Red flags about the money one could earn and up-front costs should be raised if you come across this “deal”: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38285634/ns/business-careers