No one should have to worry about their safety and security while searching for a job online – however, many scammers are operating in the job search space. It can be tempting for job seekers who’ve been on the hunt for a long time to fall for positions that appear to check off all the right boxes and offer compensation and benefits that are too good to be true. Unfortunately, many scammers use this “bait and switch” tactic to take advantage of desperate job seekers.
Since the rise of remote work with COVID-19, fraudulent job postings have only increased. To prevent yourself from fraudulent job postings, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs.
The “Employer” Eagerly Contacts You
One of the first signs of a scam occurs when a “recruiter” or “employer” approaches the job seeker first. While this isn’t unheard of for a legitimate position, it is unusual to be pursued aggressively out of the blue. A scammer usually mentions that they “found” the resume online or through another source of contact. A determining factor between a real recruiter and a scammer is their intention. An employer should only contact a candidate directly for inquiry information or set up an interview. A scammer may try to temp the job seeker by offering the position on the spot, saying the opportunity is time-sensitive, or even asking extremely personal questions.
The Position Seems too Good to be True
When it comes to searching for a job, if the position seems too good to be true, it probably is. If the job seekers if offered the role without applying, meeting with a recruiter, or engaging in an interview, it’s likely a scam. If the pay rate is too high for the position or oddly flexible, it’s most likely not authentic. For example, be wary of the posting if it’s supposed to be a part-time position that only asks candidates to come in 2-3 times a week with a chance to earn $100,000 per year – flashy sales-type language and inflated numbers can indicate a scam posting.
The Job Description is Suspiciously Vague
While professional job descriptions may be brief, they’ll always provide all the information needed and indicate that the interviewers will provide more information during the process. In an illegitimate job description, important details may be strangely vague or left out altogether. Job seekers should be suspicious if they notice very general, blatantly stated job requirements that anyone could qualify for. Examples include statements like “of legal age” or “must have access to the internet.”
If the “recruiter” or “employer” has contacted the candidate in an unprofessional manner, this is a clear sign of illegitimacy. An actual recruiter/employer will follow appropriate communication guidelines and have clear, error-free correspondence.
Google for Jobs
Google for Job has enriched its scam-detection capabilities and constantly develops new ways to catch fraudulent job posts.
Legitimate positions will need to follow all guidelines to be viewed by job seekers. Any job descriptions that are vague, grammatically incorrect, or copied will be removed. Safety for its users is the top priority for Google.
To learn more about Google for Jobs, please read our accompanying articles: