Everyone talks about phone scams, dating scams, and internet scams. Somehow, employment scams slide under the radar.
Employment scams are interesting because few people see them coming.
What’s the Point of an Employment Scam
There are three main reasons that employment scams exist.
Making Fast Money
Some people will launch an employment scam because they want to make money. These types of employment scams are especially common with virtual positions. The way they work is that the person offers a job, but they charge some type of fee, usually in the form of a sign-up fee. The scam’s creator pockets the money and is never heard of again.
Gaining Personal Information
A surprising number of employment scams are designed to gather personal information that can be used for identity theft. These employment scams can happen virtually or in person. They’re effective because no one thinks twice about providing a great deal of information, including addresses, social security numbers, and even banking information, when they are in the process of transitioning to a new job.
Acquiring Free Labor
Probably the most common type of employment scam is the one designed to acquire free labor. The job exists, and the new hire does the work, but for some reason, a paycheck never materializes. The problem that many people face with this type of employment scam is proving that they were, in fact, told that they were going to get paid.
How to Avoid Employment Scams
While it might be impossible to completely avoid employment scams, there are some things you can do to limit the amount of contact you have with them.
Use a Reputable Source to Find Job Listings
Many of us use websites to learn about available jobs. These sites are great for seeing what’s available and comparing one job posting to another. The problem is that some of the job search sites are legit, and some are not. Stick to the sites that have a reputation for pairing people with jobs. If you’ve never heard of a site before or can’t find proof that anyone you know has ever used it, stay away from the jobs they have posted.
Research the Company
Before sending in your application, set aside some time to research the company. Most job search sites include reviews that are written by people who have been employed by the business. The great thing about these reviews is that not only do they confirm that it’s an authentic business, but it also provides you with some useful insight into the business’s working conditions and allows you to decide if it’s a place you really want to work.
Does it Sound too Good to Be True
If a job is promising you great hours, minimal effort, and extraordinary pay, you should approach it with caution. While there are some really great jobs out there, the general rule of thumb is that if it sounds too good to be true, it is probably a scam.