Top 6 Tips to Avoid Job Scams

Stay safe with these 6 tips and avoid being taken advantage of in your next job search.

Job loss and job seeking are stressful enough without having to keep an eye out for scams. Predators who run employment scams leverage the vulnerability, anxiety, and fear involved in seeking immediate employment to force you into making mistakes you normally wouldn’t make. The end goal is to gather as much information as possible from you, as quickly as possible, in order to steal your identity or gain access to your finances. Stay safe with these 6 tips and avoid being taken advantage of in your next job search.


1. If it sounds too good to be true…

As with anything, if that job opening seems just a little too good to be true, that’s probably because it is. Positions offering a lot of money for zero effort are likely fronts for scams. The most common postings will typically mention, “no skill required”, “No GED required” or similar over the top claims involving high pay for simple tasks such as stuffing envelopes, data entry, or working from home. If you see those types of postings run far away.


2. Verify job listings before you apply.

It’s rare for a company to officially post a job and not have it available on the company’s website or other places online. Doing a little research can save you a lot of time and energy in the long run. If you’re contacted about a job opportunity and you’re not sure of its validity, do some research.


3. Wow, that was too easy!

When is the last time an actual company reached out to you out of nowhere and offered you a job? While there are legitimate recruiters on sites like LinkedIn and other online job boards, it’s best to be cautious. Scammers mining the internet for your personal information, who actively target vulnerable job seekers are commonplace. Look for typical warning signs such as requiring no job interview or interviews only via email/text. If they make a job offer quickly and you feel forced or rushed be cautious.


4. It should never cost money to apply for a job.

Tiered sales is just another term for pyramids schemes. It should never cost you money to apply, interview or accept a job. Never hand out your personal banking information before accepting a job offer. Anyone asking for any type of payment or credit card/bank account information in order to be considered for a position is not legitimate. Often the term “just for verification” will be used when requesting this information. The only time this would be done is after you’ve been hired by a company and are setting up a direct deposit.


5. Be cautious of where you conduct your job search.

Most job boards and online groups don’t pre-screen job listings before publishing or sharing them. Don’t assume a job listing is legitimate just because it’s listed on a reputable website. Before applying for any job, research the company and conduct an online search to learn about its reputation. You may find articles, messages or references to other people being scammed and can learn which companies to avoid. If you’re feeling overwhelmed Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! has done this work for you and offers a list of verified local job openings at


6. Don’t Ask “Who is Hiring?” in Message Boards or Groups.

Networking is a great way to get hired. Just posting or asking “Who is Hiring?” on job groups or boards is a great way to label yourself a target. People that are unmotivated/unwilling to do research or apply for jobs themselves are usually considered easy targets. Instead, be sure to utilize the network of people you know already. If you’re not sure how best to develop or use your network, your local Michigan Works! can help. Attend one of the NO-COST networking and social media classes offered and learn how to make the most of your personal and professional connections in order to increase your job opportunities.
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By Jordan Geml

About the Author:
Jordan Geml is a workforce outreach specialist with 10 years of experience in B2B and B2C marketing. He schedules, maintains, and has overseen the course material development of over 75+ monthly Employability Workshops spread across Southeast Michigan and is actively involved in Michigan workforce development.