How To Avoid Job Scams Online, Don’t Be Fooled!

Many of us, who may be older workers, and a little naive lacking the experience, wisdom, or judgment when it comes to things online, make us more susceptible to cyber criminals who are flooding the internet with fake job ads and even setting up phony company hiring websites, all to steal your identity and use it to commit fraud.

This article will show you How to Avoid Job Scams Online.

As always, you should thoroughly investigate potential employers closely, as they will target our demographic (older workers over 50), especially if you are out of work, making you more open to taking a risk in hopes of a high-paying job.

How Do Online Job Scams Work?

job scams

To the uneducated, yes! Scammers advertise jobs the same way legitimate employers do — online (in ads, job sites, and social media), in newspapers, and sometimes on TV and radio.

Cyber criminals can find contact information of people who have submitted their résumés on many legitimate job sites and then email them with a proposal for a job. These fake messages aim to get people to share confidential and personal information, which the scammers will use to commit fraud. The emails may also include malware that can infect your computer – to be safe, ignore such messages and don’t open any attachments.

Cyber criminals will promise you a job, but all they want is your money and personal information. Let’s take a deep look at some examples of job scams and tips to help you avoid them.

Work-from-home job scams

Many people would love to work from home and generate income. Scammers know this, so they place ads, often online, claiming that they have jobs where you can make thousands of dollars a month working from home with little time and effort.

The job could be anything from reshipping products to selling things to people you know and even being able to set your own schedule and work from home and when YOU want.

However, instead of making money, you end up paying for starter kits, “training,” or certifications that are useless. You might also find that your credit card is charged without your permission, or you get caught up in a fake check scam. If someone offers you a job and they claim that you can make a lot of money in a short period of time, with little work and no experience, that’s a scam.

Nanny, caregiver, and virtual personal assistant job scams

Scammers post fake job ads for nannies, caregivers, and virtual assistants on job sites.

They may send emails that look like they’re from someone in your community or who is part of an organization you know, like your college or university. If you apply, the person who hires you might send you a check. They’ll tell you to keep part of the money for your services and then send the rest to someone else.

This is a scam. A legitimate employer will NEVER ask you to do that.

Mystery shopper scams

Getting paid to shop sounds like a dream job — especially if you’re going to school full-time or looking for a side job. While some mystery shopping jobs are legitimate, many are not and are scams. Legitimate mystery shopping companies won’t ask you to pay for certifications, directories of jobs, or job guarantees.

Job placement service scams

Many staffing agencies, temporary agencies, headhunters, and other placement firms are legitimate and have been around for many years, however, others will lie about what they can do for you, promote outdated or fake job openings, and charge fees for so-called services.

Legitimate placement firms do not typically charge a fee. Instead, the hiring company pays them a fee to find qualified candidates. If a placement firm asks you for a fee, walk away. You could be dealing with a scam.

Government and postal jobs scams

Many cyber scammers will send you an email and ask you to respond to an ad that promises jobs with the federal government or postal service. However, then you have to pay a fee to get the job or pay for study materials, so you’ll get a high score on the postal exam.

Those are scams. Information about job openings with the federal government or U.S. Postal Service is free and available to everyone.

How to Avoid a Job Scam

avoid a job scam

Before you accept a job offer, and certainly before you pay for one, take these steps to protect yourself from job scams:

  • Do an online search. Look up the name of the company or the person who’s hiring you, plus the words “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” You might find out they’ve scammed other people.
  • Talk to someone you trust. Describe the offer to them. What do they think? This also helps give you vital time to think about the offer.
  • Don’t pay for the promise of a job. Legitimate employers, including the federal government, will never ask you to pay to get a job. Anyone who does is a scammer.
  • Never bank on a “cleared” check. No legitimate potential employer will ever send you a check and then tell you to send on part of the money or buy gift cards with it. That’s a fake check scam. The check will bounce, and the bank will want you to repay the amount of the fake check.

What to Do if You Paid a Scammer

No matter how you paid — debit or credit card, bank or wire transfer, gift card, or cash reload card — immediately contact the company you used to send the money such as Amex, Visa, MasterCard, or other, report the fraud, and ask to have the transaction reversed, if possible.

For specific advice and tips on how to reverse different types of payments, report the job scams to the FTC at . You can also report it to your state attorney general.

Amazon Best Sellers – How to Avoid Job Scams Online

Amazon has many excellent books, programs, and training materials that you can use in your job search – here are some excellent materials and additional resources available to you at Amazon!

Online working opportunities have become popular in the job market today. Working from home has long been an appealing option for many people. The good news is you can now find an array of work-from-home jobs across all industries and at varying experience levels. However, how to avoid scam jobs and seek a fit job for you?

I highly recommend these books as they show legitimate ways to work at home for anyone liking flexibility. You will learn about online communities, experts, and resources dedicated to helping you in your home-based work efforts.

Learn the secrets to find a work at home opportunity that is right for you.

Conclusion – And A Special Note

Cyber criminals are also creating fake LinkedIn and Facebook profiles solely meant to resemble individuals at actual companies posting job ads. Contact the company directly to ask if they’re recruiting for the positions or if the person is in their global employee directory.

One clue: a person is stating that they work for a company, but is not in any employee directory, always call the company to verify that the person is actually an employee, if they are not – politely let the company know what you know about the scammer, they will thank you for letting them know.

Also, report the suspect’s profiles to LinkedIn and Facebook.

There are so many scams today, so many so, that I am going to cover Fake Job Text Messages in my next article since that scam has grown so much recently and can be more difficult to detect. So, in order to cover all the variations and go through them properly, I need to cover them in a separate article.

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You CAN choose to escape the grind and hassles of your current job and invest in yourself. Here is how:

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4 thoughts on “How To Avoid Job Scams Online, Don’t Be Fooled!”

  1. Your information guide about how to avoid job scams online was very helpful. I fell victim to a scam last year, paid for a service to work from home, which turned out to be a scam. Now, I carefully read or watch the videos they use to market their scams. The company was paid for social media jobs. All it was images of their fake promises for you to post on Facebook. They promised many social media sites, but only Facebook. Fake advertising to get your money. 

    • Hi Jannette…

      I’m sorry that you fell victim to the scam.  I also once fell victim last year. Hence that is what drove me to write this article for this audience.  I’m glad that you found this article valuable and helpful going forward.

      Thank you for sharing your experience.


  2. Thank you for this extremely important article over scammers and jobs.  There are a lot of online postings out there that promise to pay you a lot to do a very little, and that all you have to do is pay to get the equipment set up.  So many of these look legit too.  One thing I saw you talking about, the nanny jobs, kind of shocked me.  I did not know that was going on!  I am so glad you brought it to light because there are many people who would fall for these fake postings believing that it is a real one!

    • Thank you for reading the article Jessie and I’m glad you got something out of it. It’s all too unfortunate that there are a lot of scammers out there who do nothing but pray on those who need work. The job boards and job sites are doing the best they can but the scammers are one step ahead of them just like hackers on PCs.

      Thank you and have a great day!



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