Avoid Online Job Search Scammers


Q.  Back in February, I wrote to you about getting stung by online job boards (‘Be Cautious About Online Job Boards’).  This week’s New York Times ran a story about such scams and it’s worth calling to the attention of your readers.  The job search process is tough enough so can’t something be done to stop these rip offs? -EP

A.  With more than 60,000 job boards on the Internet, it’s sometimes hard to decipher which ones are legit.  My rule of thumb:  Don’t provide credit card information to any job board.  I don’t like the idea of paying for a job no matter how desperate the situation or how many lofty promises are made by the job posting service.

Thanks for calling the Times article to our attention since it provides helpful advice on how to protect yourself against online job scams.  In summary, the article says:

  • Be skeptical. 
  • Do your homework.  Research the company.
  • Keep it private.  Limit the personal information you give online.
  • Specialize your search.  Look for industry-specific job boards or professional groups with online listings. 
  • Get to know the company.  Ideally, focus on local businesses you can meet with in person.
  • Go low tech.  Most people get jobs through local want ads, professional associations, job-search agencies, temp agencies and their personal networks of colleagues friends and family.

Finally, if you are a victim of an online scam, I encourage you to report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, which was established by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other legal groups. 

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