Graduates: Beware of Fake Job Listings

If a job offering sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Graduates who fail to heed this caveat are prone to fall prey to identity thieves and credit card scams, according to Scambook, an Internet complaint resolution agency. Scambook warns graduates to be cautious of overly glowing job offers on popular employment websites such as CareerBuilder, LinkedIn and Craigslist. Scammers use these sites and a variety of get–rich-quick schemes to lure students with large student loan debts. Scam artists create fake job listings, claim to be company staff members and will try to collect personal information such as Social Security and credit card numbers, the website warns.

Scambook has received more than 200 complaints against fake online employment agencies and offers these tips on detecting false job listings:

  • Be cautious of keywords such as “recruitment,” “careers,”  “partners” and “staffing” as they often are used to promote fraudulent non-existent businesses.
  • Watch out for HR representatives who seem too eager to hire. Make sure references are made to actual past employment or skills listed on your resume. Legitimate employers seldom hire without an initial phone or in-person interview.
  • If a potential employer requires a Social Security number or demands a credit card number to perform a background or credit check in an online application, don’t provide them. A legitimate employer will ask for this information after you have been hired or attended a few rounds of interviews.
  • Ask questions about the position. A real employer will be impressed by your initiative to learn more about the company. Be wary of vague answers or if your questions are ignored.
  • Don’t fall for “pre-approved” job offers that arrive out of the blue via email not addressed to you by name or through unsolicited phone calls. They are likely fraudulent.
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