Skip To Content
Back to blog

When it comes to job scams, a lot of scammers will utilize the same tactics to catch your attention and take your information/money. We’ve highlighted a few of these common tactics here so you know what kind of activity you should be looking out for within your job search. Be on the lookout for these red flags as you conduct your job search.

Common Job Scam Red Flags

  • The job has benefits that far exceed other jobs of similar caliber, such as offering a salary that is way above industry average. They might also highlight incredible benefits of the job such as “flexibility,” “working from home,” and “being your own boss”. If it seems too good to be true, it likely is.
  • Your employer is asking you to open an account in your name in order to send out funds, purchase gift cards, or send money via money transfer services such as Square, Facebook Pay, or Cash App. These tactics are ways for fake employers to get you to spend your own money. They will often send you fake checks for you to spend, which results in you having to pay off these checks with your own funds once they bounce.
  • Your employer is sending you a large sum of money and telling you to “Keep a portion as your salary.” Similar to the previous red flag, this approach offers a way for scammers to get you to spend your money on their behalf by exposing you to fake checks.
  • The employer reaches out to you on a non-work email. If you are receiving offers from a personal email address or one that doesn’t seem to fit the business description, it’s likely coming from a scammer.
  • The offer letter and communication has several grammatical errors, and typos. Communication from a legitimate employer should appear more professional.
  • The company lacks credibility online and/or has no online presence. In the digital age, any credible company should have an online presence. If you cannot find any information about them from a web search, or can only find negative reviews, the company is probably illegitimate.

Additional Steps You Can Take

Other than looking out for common red flags, there are other steps you can take to avoid falling for job scams. If you’re unsure about the legitimacy of a job offering, here are some steps that you can take:

  1. Search online. Looking up the name of the company or the person who’s hiring you, plus words such as “scam,” “review,” or “complaint” can help you see if others have complained about being scammed by them in the past. Databases such as the BBB Scam Tracker can also be a great resource for investigating if a job offer has been previously reported as a scam. There is still a chance you’ve come in contact with a scammer if no complaints come up. Even if there are just generally negative results, this can act as a good tip as to possible problems.
  2. Talk to someone you trust. Describing the offer to someone you trust can help you get useful input from an outsider. It can also give you more time to think over the offer yourself.
  3. Don’t pay for the promise of a job. An honest employer will never ask you to pay to get a job. If you are being asked to pay a fee or make any sort of payments throughout the job application process, you’re working with a scammer.
  4. Never bank on a “cleared” check. Your employer should never send you a check to deposit and then tell you to send out part of the money, or buy gift cards with it. This is a clear sign of a fake check scam, which is a common occurrence within job scams. The check will bounce, which will result in your bank wanting you to repay the amount of the fake check. You’ll be losing money while your fraudulent employer gains.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.