The exodus of workers known as the “Great Resignation”, is still in full swing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 whopping million people quit their job in August!
But why are so many workers saying, “I quit”?
The recent pandemic and the path to recovery has given millions of people a chance to reflect on their life and career. Some have retired early while others have decided to leave their current positions in search of better pay, flexibility and/or a better work environment.
Employment and Job Search Scams Are Rising as More People Look for Work
As the number of job seekers increases, so has the number of job search scams. (We’re seeing this first-hand as we guide some of these workers through this complex career transition.)
Sadly, scammers preying on (often desperate) job seekers. They promise you a job, but what they’re really after is your personal information and money.
Did you know that for every ONE legitimate job posting there are 60-70 job scams posted?
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, employment scams accounted for $59 million in losses in 2020! This type of scam has become one of the top online fraud schemes since the start of the pandemic.
Learn to recognize common job search scams: 10 red flags
We detest job search scams and are adamant in helping job seekers distinguish a job search scam from a legitimate job opportunity.
So, to avoid being duped, it’s important to know what some common red flags are.
It might be a job search scam if…
1.Interview is conducted via chat or instant message - Virtual interviews are common, but be skeptical if the interview takes place over a messaging platform. Video interviews allow for greater transparency which is why most scammers prefer a chat or instant message. Similarly, not being able to reach a person via phone is also common with job scammers.
2. Required to purchase equipment and/or software - Legitimate companies will cover any necessary equipment or software costs. Similarly, don’t fall for purchasing “starter kits” or “training”, or even “certificates”.
3.Speedy interview process - Scammers don’t bother with lengthy interviews. And if you’re offered a position immediately after the speedy interview - run.
4.An appointment letter not presented or labeled as an offer letter - Legitimate companies call it for what it is. Any letter you receive should always be on company letterhead and include company contact information and employee name.
5.Inconsistent (or missing) company information - If the information presented to you is different from what you find on the company’s website, it’s likely a scam. Most job search scams have inconsistent phone numbers, address and/or contact information.
6.You are asked to share confidential information - If you’re asked identifying information prior to the interview or even signing the offer letter - don’t fall for it! Remember, background checks come at the job offer stage, not before the interview
7.You are offered a job or “opportunity” without applying - Sure, it’s common to have recruiters reach out to you. But if you’re offered a position and haven’t officially applied, it’s probably a scam. They may even ask you to send your resume to be “considered for the position”. Tread cautiously, scammers use the personal information on your resume to gather information such as, phone number, address, email address, etc.
8.Vague job description - You’ve probably seen these,
Must be 18 years old. Must be a citizen. Must have access to the internet.
A legitimate job has specific job descriptions. If you don’t know what the job duties are by reading the description, it’s likely a scam.
9.Personal email is used or gmail - If you’re not careful, this one can be easy to overlook. Many times, just clicking on a link in these emails opens you up to fraud and identity theft. A legitimate recruiter will contact you via a business email with the domain name for that employer, not a Gmail or Yahoo account. For example,
SusieSunshine@careerorganic.com not, SusieSunshine@gmail.com
10.If you feel like something is off, chances are - they are. Trust your instincts and always conduct a background check on the person and company.
Protect Yourself from Job Search Scams
These tips will help you steer clear of scammers and protect your personal information
- Look up the company or company representative online or on LinkedIn.
- Checkout the company website & check the URL look for “https://”, not “http://”. Scammers will try to imitate the legitimate company’s website by slightly changing their web address.
- Does their address, contact information and history check out?
- Research if this job posting is anywhere on their website, LinkedIn page, or on employment sites such as Indeed.
The virtual job market can open many opportunities for job seekers that would otherwise not be available, but it also offers anonymity to scammers. Use these tips to keep your "dream job" from turning into a nightmare.
Think you’ve been a victim of an employment or job search scam?
If you believe you have been victimized by a job scam, report it to ReportFraud.ftc.gov. We advise you to report it as soon as possible to recover losses and to prevent others from falling prey to these scammers.
If you’re in the midst of a career transition or are thinking about exploring other career paths, schedule a complimentary consultation. Our career coaches are ready to help you expedite your career growth.
Blog Written by - Jessica Shephard