Let’s be honest: finding a stable job in the current economic turmoil is more than difficult. The unemployment rate is rising, and the number of good jobs on the market is falling. Naturally, anyone who wants to get a job realizes that they need some sort of leg up on the competition. Unfortunately, con artists are aware of this fact as well, and in the recent years there has been an increase in the number of people who fall victim to different types of employment scams. In this article, we will outline several types of employment scams and give advice on how to avoid getting scammed.
Consultation Scams: In this scam, a “consulting firm” contacts you and claims to be able to offer some sort of “service” that will greatly increase your chances of, or even guarantee, finding a job. Often times these “firms” will have a very official looking website and flashy advertisements proclaiming firm’s high success rate. When you call the “firm,” they will instruct you to send them your resume, along with other, more private information, such as your Social Security Number or even tax forms. Once you have sent them all your personal information, and oftentimes some sort of “processing” or “consulting” fee, you will eagerly await their assistance, only to be never contacted again. You will try to find the website that attracted you in the first place, but it will have disappeared, and you will have been left with the knowledge that someone out there currently has all your personal information.
Bait and Switch Scams: As the name implies, this scam involves an employer advertising an appealing job, usually with a high salary and immediate work. Excited, you immediately call the employer, send in your resume, and seek an interview. At the meeting, you find out that the dream job is “regrettably no longer available.” If you’re still interested, though, there is another job, at a “slightly” lower salary with “slightly” different duties. The job the employer ends up offering you is much different from the one that you thought you were applying for, much worse to be specific. The truth is the original, dream job never existed, and the employer or recruiter simply wants to attract the most qualified potential employees to interview in hopes that he or she can convince them to settle for the worse job.
Fake Training or Fake Equipment Scams: Both of these types of scams involve an advertisement that offers a good job with little to no experience necessary. When you contact the “employer,” they will claim that in order to get the job, you will need to go through some sort of training program they provide, at a fee of course, or buy from them some sort of equipment or start-up kit that is required for the job. While there are some legitimate businesses that work this way, most such “opportunities” are from scam artists whose goal is to make money selling useless programs or equipment. Oftentimes, you go through the whole “training program,” buy the “required equipment,” and then find out that “all the job openings are currently filled” or the company disappears altogether. Be wary of any company that guarantees an automatic job placement!
Phishing Scams: Unlike the previous scams, these scams occur mostly online. You receive an unsolicited email from a potential “employer” claiming to have a perfect job opportunity for you. All it asks is that you fill out a form which will ask for some private information, such as your phone, address, even your Social Security number. What the “employer” does not tell you is that all this information will be sold to third party sources. After you have given out all your information, you will never hear from the “employer” again.