Boulder, CO (PRWEB) September 15, 2015
Despite warnings over the years from the FBI and BBB, job seekers continue to be victimized by scams while searching for jobs, with people looking for work-from-home jobs at a higher risk due to the estimated rate of 60 to 70 scams for every one legitimate job posting. According to a recent FlexJobs survey with over 2,600 respondents, 17 percent of job seekers have reported being a victim of a job scam at least once, if not multiple times. While presumed to be more savvy online, millennials have actually reported higher rates of being scammed than seniors. Of millennial respondents aged 20-29, 20 percent have been scammed. Of senior respondents aged 60-69, only 13 percent have been scammed.
Concern over job scams is prevalent across all ages, though, with 81 percent of respondents indicating they were either “very concerned” (33 percent) or “on guard” (48 percent) during their job search. Highlighting how common job scams are during the job search process, only 5 percent of respondents said they have never seen a scam.
“As interest in working from home continues to rise, job seekers of all ages need to exercise serious caution and judgement while looking for work-from-home positions,” said Sara Sutton Fell, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs, the leading online service for hand-screened telecommuting and flexible jobs. “While excellent, professional, and legitimate telecommuting job opportunities do exist in almost all career fields, it’s important to realize that unfortunately job scams are not always as obvious as most people would like to believe.”
The following work-from-home scams list is comprised of job scams both new and old, simple and complex, to help keep job seekers aware of the vulnerabilities during their job searches.
- Branding/Fake Identity/Copycat Scams: Copying a brand to trick job seekers into thinking they are the real company is becoming increasingly popular. Similarly, there are job scams where people or groups of people pose as a company, despite the fact that they have no affiliation. Remember, each company has a unique domain name, but scams use a company’s name and include it in a generic URL.
- Paying for a Job/Money Movement: If you have to pay a startup fee or pay to be hired, more than likely the job is a scam. There are also no legitimate jobs that require job seekers to receive money, keep a portion, and send the rest on.
- Package Processing: Similar to the money movement scam, package processing could be borderline illegal, as it requires job seekers to receive, process, and send packages of which they have little knowledge.
- Text Message/IM Job Offers: Technology has created a lot of great job opportunities, but being recruited through text message or instant message is not a legitimate practice.
- Social Media Prowling: While many legitimate recruiters make contact through LinkedIn, as well as Facebook and Twitter, it’s critical to research the recruiter and company before responding because scammers use these platforms, too.
- Phishing: If a job requires clicking a specific link or asks for detailed personal and financial information, it’s trying to collect sensitive information for malicious use.
- Envelope Stuffing: While sending out correspondence may be part of a job, legitimate jobs do not have people sitting from home stuffing envelopes all day.
- Product Assembly: These scams promise work assembling various products for different companies. Often the job seeker pays for a list of companies looking for assembly services but then rarely finds work after money is exchanged.
- Unsolicited Job Offers: As a job seeker, make sure to keep track of the jobs you’ve applied for. If you haven’t applied and interviewed for a job, don’t accept an offer.
- Generic and Unverifiable Information: Generic job descriptions that are void of details and contact information, and recruiters who use personal email addresses, such as Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, iCloud, or Outlook, are red flags. A legitimate company will have a real web presence with verifiable information, such as a phone number, location, web address, employees, or social media channels.
Being aware of and learning how to avoid job scams is important for all job seekers, no matter what age, level of tech-savviness, or career area.
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To request additional information, please contact Kathy Gardner at kgardner(at)flexjobs(dot)com.
FlexJobs is the leading online service for professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs. With flexible job listings in over 100 career categories, and opportunities ranging from entry-level to executive and freelance to full-time, FlexJobs offers job seekers a safe, easy, and efficient way to find professional and legitimate flexible job listings. Having helped over one million people in their job searches, FlexJobs has appeared on CNN and Marketplace Money and in TIME, Forbes, Fortune, and many other trusted media outlets.