When you're looking for a job, you want to find something that works for you in short order, but unfortunately, there always seem to be people who want to take advantage of your situation.
Job search scams are all too common, and they're something you need to be aware of, especially at a time when unemployment rates are on the rise. The following are just some of the warning signs that an offer isn't what it appears to be:
1) The "recruiter" asks for payment
Whether you are contacted by someone purporting themselves to be a recruiter or you reach out to one, you should know that a legitimate operator of this type doesn't ask you - the jobseeker - for payment, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The way recruiting works is simple: The company that hires someone pays the recruiter a "finder's fee." As such, if a recruiter asks you for money or financial information, it's a scam.
2) They claim to have knowledge of unannounced jobs
Especially when it comes to public-sector government jobs, recruiters will rarely - if ever - have the inside track on jobs that haven't been posted publicly, the FTC added. If they try to get you to use their services by saying they can get you opportunities that just aren't available elsewhere, that's a good sign they aren't what they claim to be.
3) They want your personal information for a "background check"
Much like no legitimate recruiter or business would ask for payment information, they also wouldn't ask you to provide them with any sensitive personal details, according to Job Hunt. That's especially true if you haven't even talked to them before.
4) The email looks suspicious
Similarly, you have undoubtedly received emails purporting to be from major companies like Apple or Amazon that always look just a bit "off" - and you may be targeted by these messages in a job search as well, Job Hunt advised. If there are a lot of typographical errors, it's from a strange address or something just doesn't look right, that's usually a pretty good indicator that you should disregard the email.
5) They promise outsized salaries
You know that old saying: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is, according to Flexjobs. If you get a job offer that appears to be outside the norm in terms of salary or benefits offerings, you should suspect that something is amiss.
6) They send a job offer - but you haven't applied yet
While it's certainly possible that you would receive an unsolicited job offer, there's usually some sort of identifying detail that shows you the offer didn't come out of nowhere, Flexjobs warned. But if you receive an offer that truly seems to be out of left field, it could be a scam attempt.
7) It looks a bit like a pyramid scheme
Finally, there are a lot of job listings that position themselves as sales positions, but are really part of a "multi-level marketing" scheme that require an investment up front, Flexjobs further noted. Again, no legitimate job offer makes you give an organization money to get a job.