This article by James Walsh was originally published on the Ashley Ellis website at :
Your identity may be at stake. Keep safe while searching the job market by following these 3 simple steps!
Scams advance with technology and job market scams are no different. They’ve evolved with the internet, allowing crafty scammers to take advantage of job seekers by using job board postings to steal precious, personal information. Fake openings are designed to be too good to pass up but with some keen observation, you can pick out the real positions from the fakes.
Pay attention to details: When reading the initial message, review the content & grammar of the response. Check for missing words and glaring grammatical mistakes. Most human resource directors and hiring managers take pride in their companies and want to depict them in the most professional light. The occasional mistake can be overlooked (we’re all human) but once you get past a couple errors, proceed with care and make certain you do your homework.
Research the company: A quick web search can provide you the answers you need. If the company doesn’t have a website, it probably is a good indicator that you’re dealing with a scam artist (and an inept one at that). Though there are some companies that prefer privacy, most conformed to this web norm during the opening years of the 21st century. So always be wary of limited web information.
Other scammers can put together passable websites but that illusion can be torn down with a quick visit to the Better Business Bureau or Federal Trade Commission website. Both watchdogs keep tabs on scammers and can provide you with great resources. When a company checks out with either organization, you’re normally in the clear to go through with the application & interview process.
Avoid upfront Social Security requests: Scam artists go for broke with the time they have and focus upon the most precious information: your Social Security number. In most cases, your Social Security number should not be provided to a potential employer before an offer is placed on the table. That information is usually just needed to establish payroll and set up your employment records, so you should always be cautious about frivolous Social Security number requests. At the very least, several interviews should have taken place and the company should have mustered up to your fraud research. Always remember: your identity is more important than an uncertain dream.
Bottom Line: You can never be too careful. As the saying goes, “if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.” With so many opportunities in your sights, it can be difficult & time consuming to run every job opening through a scam check. If you find this process too difficult, reach out to a BBB certified staffing agency and allow them to eliminate scams for you. Either way, by independently avoiding scams or using the time-saving efforts of professional staffers, you are safeguarding your reputation until a legitimate offer worth your talent comes around.
by James Walsh