Job Scams: Protect Yourself from Fraudulent Job Opportunities

Examples of Job Scams

Work-from-home job scams

Do you dream of making money from the comfort of your own home? Unfortunately, scammers are well aware of this desire and take advantage of it by advertising fake jobs online. These ads promise the opportunity to earn thousands of dollars per month with minimal time and effort. The supposed job could involve reshipping products or selling items to friends and family. Some scammers even entice potential victims by claiming they can be their own boss, start their own business, or set their own schedule.

However, instead of making money, unsuspecting individuals end up losing their hard-earned cash. They are asked to purchase useless starter kits, pay for so-called training or certifications, or even have their credit cards charged without authorization. In some cases, victims become entangled in a fake check scam where they deposit a check from their supposed employer, only to be asked to send a portion of the money back due to an alleged overpayment. Ultimately, the deposited check bounces, leaving the victim responsible for repaying the full amount while the scammers abscond with the funds.

It’s important to remember that any job offer promising easy money in a short amount of time is almost certainly a scam.

  • Reshipping scams: When searching for jobs online, you may come across positions like quality control managers or virtual personal assistants that turn out to be part of a reshipping scam. In this scheme, victims are instructed to receive packages at their homes, dispose of the original packaging and receipts, and then reship the products to an address provided. Often, these packages contain high-priced goods purchased with stolen credit cards. Remember, reshipping goods is never a legitimate job. You’re inadvertently becoming involved in a scam. Additionally, if you’ve given out personal information under the guise of payroll requirements, you may be at risk of identity theft.

  • Reselling merchandise scams: This particular scam involves receiving an unexpected call or stumbling upon an online or local newspaper ad that promises profits from purchasing brand-name luxury products at discounted prices and reselling them. Unfortunately, after paying for the merchandise, victims either never receive the package or find that it contains low-quality items.

More:  Cirque Italia: A Memorable Family Experience

Nanny, caregiver, and virtual personal assistant job scams

Scammers go to great lengths to deceive victims by posting fake job advertisements for nannies, caregivers, and virtual assistants on popular job sites or by sending emails that appear to be from trusted sources within the community. In some cases, scammers fake their affiliation with familiar organizations such as colleges or universities. If you apply for one of these positions, the person who hires you may send you a check. They will then instruct you to deposit the check, keep a portion of the money as payment for your services, and send the rest to a third party. This is a scam, as legitimate employers would never ask you to engage in such financial transactions. The check itself is counterfeit and will bounce, leaving you responsible for repaying the full amount while the scammer pockets the money you sent.

To safeguard yourself, always be cautious when an offer involves depositing a check and using the funds for any purpose. Simply walk away from such opportunities.

Mystery shopper scams

Getting paid to shop may sound like a dream job, especially if you’re a student or seeking additional income. While there are honest mystery shopping jobs available, many are scams. Legitimate mystery shopping companies will never ask you to pay for certifications, job directories, or job guarantees. If someone asks for payment in exchange for a job opportunity, be aware that it’s a scam. Furthermore, if they request that you deposit a check and return a portion of the money, it’s a clear sign of a fake check scam. Take the time to read up on Mystery Shopping Scams to learn more about this deceptive practice.

More:  19 Valuable Vintage Purses Worth Investing In: Your Ultimate Buying Guide

Job placement service scams

While numerous staffing agencies, temporary agencies, headhunters, and other placement firms genuinely assist job seekers, some are deceptive. These dishonest placement firms may make false promises about the services they provide, promote outdated or non-existent job openings, and require fees for their so-called assistance. Legitimate placement firms typically do not charge job candidates fees; instead, they are paid by the hiring companies to find qualified candidates. If a placement firm asks for an upfront fee, you are likely dealing with a scam and should walk away.

Government and postal jobs scams

Similar to job placement service scams, certain dishonest entities may misrepresent themselves as staffing agencies, temporary agencies, or other placement firms with connections to government or postal jobs. They follow the same pattern of making false claims, promoting fake job openings, and demanding fees from job applicants. Remember that legitimate government agencies and postal services will not require job seekers to pay fees in advance. If you encounter a placement firm that requests an upfront payment, it is advisable to end all dealings, as you are likely dealing with a scam.

How To Avoid a Job Scam

Before accepting any job offer, take the following steps to protect yourself from common job scams:

  • Search online: Conduct a thorough search using the name of the company or person offering the job, along with keywords such as “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” Look for any signs that others have been scammed by the same entity. While the absence of complaints doesn’t guarantee that a company is legitimate, finding multiple complaints can serve as a red flag.

  • Talk to someone you trust: Describing the job offer to a trusted friend or family member can provide you with valuable opinions and insights. Their perspective may help you make a more informed decision.

  • Don’t pay for job promises: Reputable employers, including government institutions, will never ask you to pay for a job opportunity. If anyone requests payment as a condition for employment, they are undoubtedly trying to scam you.

  • Beware of “cleared” checks: No honest employer will ever require you to deposit a check and then instruct you to use part of the money for any purpose, such as purchasing gift cards. This is a common tactic used in fake check scams. The deposited check will bounce, and you will be held responsible for repaying the amount of the counterfeit check.

More:  All About Valuable Rocks: Uncovering Hidden Treasures

Advice on Finding a Job

If you’re actively seeking employment, consider exploring the following resources:

  • The official website of the federal government, offering job openings nationwide.

  • CareerOneStop: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop provides comprehensive job listings and links to employment and training programs in each state.

  • Visit local government websites, as they often post open positions on their respective sites.

Remember, during the job application process, employers may conduct background checks. Explore the information provided in “Employer Background Checks and Your Rights” for further guidance.

What To Do if You Paid a Scammer

If you’ve fallen victim to a job scam and made a payment through various means, such as debit or credit cards, mobile payment apps, wire transfers, gift cards, cash reload cards, or cryptocurrency, act swiftly by contacting the company you used to send the money. Report the fraudulent activity and request a reversal of the transaction, if possible. For advice tailored to your specific situation, consult “What To Do If You Were Scammed.”

Report Job Scams to the FTC

If you encounter or lose money to a job scam, it is crucial to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at Additionally, consider notifying your state attorney general. For more information on avoiding scams, please visit

Related Articles

Back to top button