Leadership

Video: How to avoid fake job scams

Here's how to recognize and deal with fake job adds.

It's a real shame that some organizations take advantage of the unemployed. But you can rest assured that if there is a vulnerability some low-life place is going to find a way to use it to their advantage.

In this video, I talk about the kinds of organizations who post sham job ads and what you can do to avoid them.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

24 comments
dranspach
dranspach

Applied for what I now see as 1 of every job possible with this company. They must have sold my name to every scam e-mailer possible. Applicants beware

mrohwohlt
mrohwohlt

This had happened to me. I was contacted by a recruiter via email. I called and she started the ramble about herself and her company. She was not concerned about my education (currently working on my BS) actually she said the BS was BS and certifications are where it's at (first clue as to what was to come). She wanted to setup an interview (another recruiter that was legit did the same). I got to the office in downtown Manhattan near Wall St. Once there she had come out to greet me after 5 minutes. She talked about herself being the end all of recruiters for financial companies but would not send me out to the job she had talked about on the phone until I completed the training course for $10K. She also claimed that if she had sent me to a client they would interview me. Of course they would! That's how it works a company contracts with the recruiters to send them qualified people. I left with thanks for nothing. I went there with doubts but the desperation of finding a job outweighed it. The only expense was the cost of getting there.

trontweeker
trontweeker

Do your homework! I dodged a big bullet by telling a rep for Barrister Global Systems Network, "Uh...never mind"

pkrouse
pkrouse

I can read a transcript a lot faster than I can watch a video...

Isocrates
Isocrates

Do you wonder why you have received only 9 responses in 5 days (okay, 10 including this one)? I have found no video on this page and believe others have the same dilemma.

pellegr1
pellegr1

In case it is an identity thief, if they ask for your social security number and/or your birthdate, I would hesitate to give them. "later" might be a better idea. I have heard that identity thieves only need your name and birthdate, so be aware. Its a jungle out there.

SheFixesThings
SheFixesThings

Has anyone heard of SetFocus? They also seem to do something like this but swear that they will get you a job or you don't have to pay them back. It wasn't cheap either, somewhere in the vicinity of $20k. Thanks!

parthiv_13
parthiv_13

From Dec 2008 till today Jan 2010 I have applied with so many companies I think 1000+ applications. During this one year I have got only so phone calls. But they were from all online collages and some training institutes all the time. How do they get all information its a big question..! I do keep things in my mind as Toni Bowers said in video. Then also its very much possible that out of my 1000+ jobs it could be more than 200 could be fake jobs as said in video. There are couple of tools I have found online in that I do basic search for phone number in harassment list, Legitimate address of company, so called offers and title tags etc with common sense. After all these I have faced at least 4 fake jobs out of 10 most of time. HOTJOBS, Monster and other majors are also included in it. I wonder why they are not scanning it regularly..

steve.hammill
steve.hammill

Even though I worked for many years in the computer security business, I never thought about fake jobs ads being an identity collector. Geeeeeeeesh! I guess that is the downside to working with great people you know and trust. Thanks for the heads up! Good piece.

benwal91
benwal91

You know how many fake jobs I get? And some of them I've submitted information? I've done to some, and one of them I was questioned about... Ever got the ABC Gaming Studio offer? Their policies don't make sense.

netexcel
netexcel

I don't recommend applying for any jobs that does not post a salary range. Applicants should realize that if the range is not posted and the only way to find out what the pay is, is by going through interview process the job may not be worth applying for.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

I've seen alot of sites that seem only to exist to collect personal info - you type in info page after page and then they send you to the original job site. I've learned to avoid these and find the original job directly when I can. Also I encourage applying to job openings but not posting your resume. If you must, DON'T put your phone#, JUST a disposable email address. That way if they start spamming you, you can delete the email address.

mrohwohlt
mrohwohlt

Even if they are willing to give it to you in writing it could still be a scam. If you accept an offer from their client, even if you are there for a day, they have fulfilled the contract in getting you a job. You're out $20K and no job. If you want or need training go to a reputable school.

hmmmmm!
hmmmmm!

There are recruiter that "collect resumes" meaning they do that and when a job opens they shotgun resumes to it.. claiming "my candidate is on your list"..and going for fee if another honest recruiter gets you placed. They will hang on to resumes for years, do word search and send in "match". NEVER ever pay one dime up front in any manner for "job placement" as honest recruiters collect fees from employer. Beware of recruiters, "I will rewrite your resume for job" and sorry but "DOE" for salary range means just that, as often recruiters are NOT told of what salary is going to be.. and the "E" of experience really does count. Finally with the "new economy" do not rely on your last salary to be the new one, and if in CA and going to MI, do not expect same wages. Whole new hiring going on, and scams exist. Often resumes on line are mined for data for ID theft. ALWAYS if possible post resumes in format only you can change.. and do trace on the recruiter or whatever email address.. might learn it is offshore. Lastly when to good to be true, it is!

rebeccaaward
rebeccaaward

I only work with a legitimate head hunter. She works for an actual placement company. They provide sub-contract employees for major contracting companies (Booz-Allen, CACI, Lockheed Martin, etc), and then after 6 months or so, the contracting company typically picks up the sub-contractor as a regular employee. (I live in a heavily military area). By working with this single point of contact, I know that she has her finger on the pulse of the contractors in the area and knows what jobs are coming open. She gets paid by the *employer* when she provides them with a suitable candidate. (I pay nothing). And she negotiates a suitable salary for me while I work for her company as a sub-contractor. When the time comes for me to leave her fold and work directly for the government contractor, she helps me come up with a reasonable salary to ask for. The only downside is that there are no paid holidays while working for her, and the benefits are somewhat slim, but knowing I will only be on her payroll for 6 months or so makes that an acceptible concession. I have been very happy with this solution and am only considering going back into her fold because my military installation is now being BRAC'ed (Base Realignment and Closure), so I don't know whether my contracting company will be able to keep me on once the majority of the jobs move to another state (I can't relocate). If my position moves to the new state and they can't find me something new within their organization, I will be back to my headhunter and I know she will find me something here in town.

Birdbrain1959
Birdbrain1959

Just when you think it can't get any lower, how about companies posting jobs openings when they have no intention of hiring? A colleague of mine was called in for an interview and was asked the "How would you handle this situation?" question. When following up to the interview, he was told that they have delayed hiring for the position. A couple months later, a new ad appears. In speaking with other unemployed colleagues, they encountered the same thing, some companies using the interview process for free consulting. Pretty low.

Isocrates
Isocrates

What a rude put-down! No video shows for me on the original blog page. Try being more technically innovative and less immature.

Imperious Leader
Imperious Leader

TRUE STORY: Well, I was frustrated one day in my employment search, and decided to look at positions overseas in Dubai and UAE. I submitted my information to this website (..that I thought...) was pretty legit. I received a call from the organization and by the end of the conversation, they wanted me to send them $500.00 in order to "retrofit" my resume into some kind of standard the employers were looking for. OK. $Out_of_work == "NO EXTRA DOLLARS"; Then, to compound matters, come to find out, these people really do not have (...so they say they do...) a position ready for you in the first place....!!!! :-( And to make matters worse, they tried to "haggle me down" to something they thought I could afford. Has this happened to anybody here? Grrrrrrrr.

Isocrates
Isocrates

Indeed! That happened to me in Temecula, CA. The company paid nothing for my transportation or any other costs, including my loss of another interview, and used my expertise to solve their problem under the ruse of "exploring my skills-levels." If ANY company asks you to display your skills by solving a problem without compensation, even under the guise of a question-and-answer session, DO NOT ANSWER WITHOUT A CONTRACT FOR COMPENSATION SIGNED BY THEM! If they refuse to do so, let them know you will report them and leave. Then, alert your job recruiter to that company's unethical practices and let your agent know you will not go on any other interviews that are nothing more than searches for free consulting services. In addition, ask your recruiting agent to alert all other recruiting agents in their office and in your industry to that company's unethical practices. If your recruiter refuses or fails to do so, find a better job recruiter. Next, go to your local newspaper business editor(s) and let them know exactly what happened. Be sure to give them the name of the company and the person or persons who attempted to get free consulting services from you. Perhaps, if company's get publicly exposed and blacklisted by job recruiters, they will stop their unethical practices. On a local level, you can file a formal complaint with that company's licensing agencies within their city and/or county. On a state level, you can file formal complaints against each such unethical company with your state's (and that company's state's if different from your own) attorney general, their local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau, and with that company's state licensing and business oversight agencies. On a federal level, you can file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission as well as with the United States Attorney General. If enough complaints are filed against a company, it will be investigated. It is time we humans fight back against corporate abuse of us as, first, citizens and, second, employees or contractors.

IC-IT
IC-IT

There was absolutely no put down intended. You did not indicate in your initial post that you actually went to the blog. You stated "there was no video on this page". It would not be the first time someone erred that way. You need to take a chill pill. The video works for me, you have other issues. It does require Flash is your player up to date?

hmmmmm!
hmmmmm!

Once again.. if anyone asks you for dollars for finding or getting job, hang up. They are some sort of scam or con. REAL jobs are not sold.

Editor's Picks