Beware of Internet Job Hunting Scams

August 24, 2011 No Comments

As the unemployment rate in the US continues to rocket towards the sky, more and more people are turning to the Internet to search for job opportunities. Offering tools that allow the individual to narrow down their job search and cover specific geographic areas, the Internet provides very useful methods for helping people find career opportunities that suite their needs.

Although Internet services have the potential to help us quickly narrow down our search, they can also offer opportunity for scammers to trick people into sharing their personal information online.

In her article Looking for Jobs Online Could Lead to Scams, Courtney Carlmark lists several red flags that the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona has sent out as a warning to online job seekers:

  • If a so-called employer’s e-mails are full of grammatical errors, the BBB says to steer clear. Many online scammers come from outside the United States and English is not their first language.
  • The BBB says to be careful if e-mails from the job posting web sites claim there is some sort of problem with your account. Often these types of e-mails are designed to convince folks to click a link within the message that will install a virus onto their computer.
  • If a potential employer asks for extensive personal information, like a social security number or bank account information, or money up front without conducting an interview first, that’s another red flag.
  • And we’re told if a job offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  The BBB says to watch out for phrases like “get rich without leaving home”.

Often times, it is difficult to differentiate a legitimate request for information from a false one, so if you receive an email from a potential employer asking you for personal information, it is best to research the company or firm first, and set up a call to verify that the contact is safe and real. In this case, it is definitely better to be safe than sorry!

-Amy Duryea, IT Briefcase (a Virtual Star Media Company)


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