I’ve been hearing about yet more job scams posted on internet sites (particularly sites like Craigslist and Gumtree).
Most of them sound too good to be true and that’s the first test of whether something is a con or not. Seriously, if they’re offering loads of cash for a really easy job and want to pay you before you’ve even started…wouldn’t you get suspicious?
Here is an example ‘con job’ description that someone picked up recently:
- Financial Support Agent. Job requirements: Minimum age 18; constant Internet access; home/mobile phone #; regular bank account or a Verified Premier or Business PayPal account.
At first glance it seems all right, but what legitimate employer wants to verify or have access to your bank information? What could they need with your bank account – even before you start working?
The goal is to convince the ‘mark’ to deposit a bogus cheque they send for you to cash. You deposit the cheque. The next day, you receive an urgent message asking for a refund of part of that money (usually about ¾ or more). You believe the money is already in the bank so you send the money. A few days later, you find out their cheque was bogus and the bank name doesn’t exist. You have actually lost money
Another scam is the ‘shops’ that charge job seekers to find a job for them. They scan local newspapers and online ads (you could do this yourself). Then they submit your application, but supply their office number as a point of contact. These job shops charge the ‘customer’ exorbitant fees before they set up the interview. They may even pretend to be a temp staffing agency to look legitimate.
These companies trawl job posting boards for email addresses. Once they have them, they send mass emails out pretending to have jobs as a life or health benefits sales person, a financial planner, or a job unrelated to your skill set.
- don’t believe any employer is going to offer you free housing, car, cash in advance, or other benefits ‘too good to believe.’
- any company offering to find you employment, but charges £100s in advance for those services, are going to do what you can do yourself.
- just because someone says you are qualified – especially via a mass generated email – doesn’t mean you are.
Use sites like Craigslist and Gumtree with great caution when it comes to job-seeking. There are some genuine jobs on both of them but they’re also magnets for fraudsters. Genuine recruiters and headhunters will provide their telephone numbers, email addresses, and contact information and will not make promises up front