Beware phony job scams

September 24, 2018 The Job Blog


There are many sources available for job listings. You can find them on job boards, social media sites, employment forums, and, of course, right here on the Jobcast Podcast. However, just because it looks like an employment opportunity doesn’t mean it is. It could be real, or it could be a scam.

Yes, job scams do exist, and there are a lot of them. There are even scams promoting phony government jobs. Job scams are so prevalent, the Federal Trade Commission has a part of its web site devoted to the topic.

job scams out there, and you might think you may be surprised to discover just how many job seekers fall for them. There are real jobs and there are scams, and they are often all mixed into the same lists in newspaper listings, job boards and the biggest employment web sites online.

The question is, how can you tell the difference?

There are several red flags to watch out for, and some of them are quite obvious to the experienced job seeker.

A request for money – This one is quite obvious. You are searching for employment to earn money, not pay money to buy a job. Any job listing that requires you to pay any amount of money for a list of jobs or a job opportunity is not legitimate.

It requires a bank account or banking information – No legitimate company is going to require that you have a bank account to apply for a job or ask for your banking information in a job listing. It’s way out of line. Even in this age of electronic paychecks, If a company does Direct Deposit, it won’t set you up in their system until after you are hired. Never provide your banking information on a job application. If it is required, chances are the job is a scam.

It requires a credit card – This one is a no-brainer. If the job listing asks for a credit card,
you know it’s a scam. No legitimate employer should have your credit card number for any reason whatsoever.

No experience for the job is necessary – Most employers with legitimate job listings are searching for candidates who are already qualified for the job, and while there are employers who do offer on-the-job training, a job listing with the statement “no experience necessary” does require you to investigate the job and the company further just to be sure it is legit, before you apply.

Job services that charge a fee for access to government job listings. – Some scammers will advertise access to federal government job listings or government job placement for a fee. The federal government does not charge for access to government job listings. All available federal jobs are posted publicly and the public can apply for those jobs at no charge. To search for government jobs free go to

Job placement services that require an up-front fee for job placement – There are no guarantees of employment in the job market, so any job placement firm that guarantees job placement is one to be wary of. A job placement firm that requires you to pay a fee for a guaranteed job, is one to stay away from. The only real guarantee you will have by paying any job placement service a fee up-front is the guarantee they will have your money.

There are many sources available for job listings, but not all job listings are real. Be on your guard and check out every job listing and the company behind it, before you apply. Get the job you are searching for, without getting scammed.

For more information on job scams, visit the Federal Trade Communication’s web site at