Looking for a job? How to identify fake job postings

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP)– Millions of job postings can be found with an internet search, but the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning job seekers to be wary of fakes.

Identity thieves are taking outdated ads from real employers, changing them, and posting them on employment websites and career-oriented platforms. Fraudsters use the some of the same recruiting techniques of big companies by advertising jobs online, sometimes setting up fake websites, or searching for targets on social media. They’re hoping people looking for work will bite and offer up personal information through the application process.

According to the FTC some of these jobs are offers to work from home as a personal assistant or customer service representative. Then, they’ll ask you for information like your Social Security and bank account number so they can deposit your salary. Sometimes, they say you got the job and send you a check you have to cash to buy equipment for the job and ask you to send some of the money back. These are clear signs it’s a scam.

Here are more ways to spot and avoid phony job postings:

  • Verify job openings before you apply. Visit the official website for the organization or company you’re applying for. Most include a “career opportunities” or “jobs” section. You can also call the human resources department to confirm a job opening.
  • See what others are saying. Look up the name of the company along with words like “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” The results may include the experiences of others who’ve lost money.
  • Never deposit a check from someone you don’t know. An employer will never send you a check and then tell you to send them part of the money. 

If you suspect a fraud job posting tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov and find more advice to stay clear of job scams.

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