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By Damilola Faustino

It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a real job posting online and a scam posting. After all, scammers tend to advertise job openings in the same places legitimate employers do. But, if you are careful with your job search and watch out for these red flags, you can easily start to spot the real from the fake. Here are the red flags:

job scams

Pay money for getting the job

This is one of the obvious ways of identifying a job scam. If the job advert asks you to pay money before you are assigned a job, it is a scam. It is either they will disappear with your money or you will be offered a job that does not suit your status.

Share your info wisely

Applying to many legitimate jobs online requires you to provide a lot of standard information, like your address or Social Security number. However, you should always check to make sure the site you are using to apply is secure. Just make sure the URL of the application begins with https. And never give your information through email or over the phone.

Do your research

If someone reaches out to you from a company you’ve never heard of, do a quick internet search to check them out to see if others have been scammed by them. Also, keep an eye out for people who do not have a company domain name in their email address, but instead use a free email service

Be wary of IM interviews

If the employer does not want to meet you face-to-face, this is a good sign that the job is a scam. In addition, they’ll most likely hire you on the spot during the chat interview and ask for your bank account information right away. Never give this information out over an internet chat room.

Trust your gut

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Pay attention to the pay rate you are being offered and compare it to similar jobs in your area. If they offer to pay you an outrageous amount you know is suspicious, you should be careful as it may be a way to lure you into something illegitimate. The salary is just a catch.

Stay organized

Some scammers will post a job under a legitimate company’s name, but then contact you as a different, fake company in the hopes you just won’t remember all of the jobs you’ve applied to. Keep a notebook or spreadsheet that lists each position and company you send an application to and don’t respond to anyone unfamiliar.

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