Top 12 Job Scam Warning Signs

According to the Better Business Bureau, job scams or false jobs are on the rise due to the unemployment rate rising during coronavirus. Many people are now searching for work and getting increasingly desperate as unemployment checks run out.

You can find job scams anywhere. Here’s what the lowest of the low will do during typical job scams, and how you can avoid them:

Top 12 Job Scam Warning Signs

Request For Money

No real job requires you to send any money ahead of time. Once you’ve paid, the scammer disappears with your money. There should be no application fees, employment fees, enrollment fees, employment screening fees, training fees, or anything similar.

Sending a wire payment means that it’s often impossible to get your money back. Some scams also ask for money for gift cards and provide the card’s code numbers or request other forms of payment that take your money quickly and are hard to recover, like using a payment app. Don’t fall for it!

Don’t pay for a credit check, computer software, or anything else. If it feels fishy, it probably is.


Fake Checks or “Over Payment” Job Scams

One of the most common scams is an “employer” asks you to put up money first and then promises a check that will not only cover what you spent, but some more money to make it worth your time. The fake checks often look real, but it will bounce. Usually it will bounce just in time for your real money to disappear with the scam artist, who is long gone.


Fake Email Address

If you get a job offer for a position, but the email address come from or, don’t accept it. Any business worth their salt will have an email address with their company name in it. Now that every phone is also a small computer, there’s no excuse for an unprofessional email address.


Fake Website

If you’re suspicious of a company, check to see when their website was established. You can do this for free by cutting and pasting the website address into the ICANN  website, which will tell you how old the site is. The older it is, the better.

Watch out if the website is new, has a lot of language errors, or doesn’t work properly. A cell phone number and email address isn’t enough. Make sure there’s contact information for a landline and a street location.


No Location, Only a Post Office Box

While staffing agencies can hire people in other countries and long distance hiring and staffing is pretty common, not having a physical address for a company is a large warning signal. If you look up this company online and can’t find a physical location, step back. You need to be able to find a local street address.

You can find out when a business opened by searching online for city or state records, internet searches, and often on the company website. Be sure to do your research ahead of time!


How To Check Out a Company

Check References

Checking references for a company isn’t that difficult. You can find reviews on the Better Business Bureau, Indeed, LinkedIn, the list goes on. Be sure to do an online search to see if this company has a digital footprint.

To be verified with the BBB, companies need to undergo a rigorous process to prove who they are. It only take a couple minutes to check, but it can save you a headache later on.


Get The Pay Details

How often will you be paid? Is it commission, hourly pay, or salary? If the company can’t give you an exact hourly pay, explain the commission structure, or offer you a salary, it’s best to walk away.


Get The Contact Details

Make sure you have the contact details of any recruiter or hiring manager you’re talking to. If someone sends you an email and there isn’t a phone number or some other way to contact them, then it’s best to reconsider. We’re talking landlines or 800 numbers, since anyone can get a cell phone. Sure, some businesses use a cell phone to contact people during this strange age of coronavirus, but the business itself should also have a landline phone number. Even if that building is currently empty, the phone number should still belong to them.


Repeat Scammer

Check to see if the company has been reported as a scammer before. Businesses like the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission can tell you if the company has a history of scamming.


Vague Job Description

Have you seen those job ads: Work From Home Part Time! Earn 10k A Month! and then the job ad just lists what it isn’t, instead of telling you what it is? Usually there’s a line about how it’s “Not Sales! Automated! Paid Every Day!” It sounds great, but it doesn’t seem to actually say anything about what you’d actually be doing.

If someone calls you and offers you a job, ask for a job description emailed to you. This way you’ll be able to look it over without them babbling in your ear about what a great fit you’d be. Make sure to look over the job description and figure out if this is a real position. Does it require skills? Training? Does the pay rate sound typical or is it promising to make you a millionaire? You know the saying: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Anything promising getting rich overnight or ridiculously high pay for minimal work or part time hours is worth researching. Add to this the concept that it will be making lots of money while working from home and only part time hours doesn’t add up.


Skills Not Required

For every single one of our openings at NESC Staffing, there are required skills. Every single position, including the entry-level ones, require some sort of skills. Experience is usually preferred, but skills are absolutely required. For the manufacturing positions, it might be lifting or carrying a certain amount of weight, reading, and writing, but these are still skills that not everyone has. One back problem could mean that someone can’t do that specific job. Every legitimate job requires you to have some sort of skills.

We mention this because every legitimate job requires you to have some skills ahead of time. When you get  a phone call from a recruiter, they should be focused on making sure you fit the requirements.  If they are spending their time getting you hyped up about the position, step back.


But Bank Account Numbers Are Required

We’re not talking about after you’ve been hired and signing up for direct deposit. No, the setup for job scams will ask for your bank account number before the interview! This way, they can arrange when you go to a “job interview” and while you’re confused in an empty lot without any companies at all, they can empty your bank account.

Repeat: no one needs your bank account numbers before you’ve been hired. The only time to give your bank account numbers is after you have interviewed with someone, had time to research the company, and already been paid with a real check that you’ve already cashed. Any scam would have fallen off long before then.


How To Avoid Being Scammed

  • Be skeptical if it sounds too good to be true. Do some research before agreeing to anything.
  • Don’t pay for anything.
  • Don’t give out any financial information.


How To Report a Scam

If you fell for something, don’t be embarrassed. Con artists have more experience than you!  Report it as soon as possible, with as much detail as possible, to the website where the ad came up. Be sure to also report any job scams to the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau, because if you were fooled, someone else will be too.


Don’t let the fake recruiters fool you! We’ve encountered all kinds of absurd phone calls and job scams, so we completely understand. Better to research the company ahead of time than not. Forewarned, as they say, is forearmed.


Check out our record online:


Need more advice? Check out our other articles:

How to Write a Thank You Email After the Interview (With Templates)

Success Tips for Starting A New Job Remotely During Coronavirus

Coronavirus Career Advice: 5 Ways To Improve Your Job Prospects At Home

5 Simple and Easy Effective Body Language Tips For Your Next Job Interview

Are You Reading Job Ads Wrong?