As reported by Norton, Jason M. Hill, managing partner of Sound Advice, a New York-based staffing and recruiting company, “figures there are about 10,000 job boards on the Internet. He points out that there are 1,500 staffing agencies just in the state of New York. Posing as a job board is a simple way for thieves to troll for personal information, Hill says. Some job boards aggregate resumes so they can sell your data, he points out. You’re better off tailoring your resume and cover letter to specific job opportunities.” Susan Joyce, owner and publisher of an online job search guide Job Hunt says. “Pick and choose the opportunities you’re after, customize your response and be really careful of your identity,’’ she advises. While a prospective employee may wish to apply to as many potential jobs as possible, it is advised to not include details about your personal information nor to saturate the net with your resume and applications.
Job market scammers understand those seeking employment may be in a vulnerable condition and they will try to take advantage of the situation. Many of the bogus or fake jobs are listed on real job boards. Any opportunity that requests payment, a credit card or your personal identification is a red flag alert that it is a scam. A more popular deviation to the typical scam is the offering of placement to a foreign country with the requirement of a placement fee. “The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed charges against firms that advertised that they would find overseas jobs for up-front fees of as much as $795. One of the companies claimed that it had information on more than 10,000 currently available overseas jobs and that its customers would be matched with at least three prospective employers. However, the FTC charged that few, if any, of the company’s job seekers received even an interview, much less a job.”
When applying online or working with a company that you are unfamiliar with and may have contact you in an unsolicited manner, there are a few steps that can be taken to confirm a legitimate opportunity or employment company:
- Ask the company for references of both employers and employees that they have placed with viable jobs. Scam artists will typically refuse the information, listing it as a ‘trade secret’ or the ‘privacy’ of their clients.
- Confirm their reliability by contacting a viable business organization in the city or country that validates the legitimacy of businesses.
- Stay away from firms that only communicate via phone, mail or email. A reputable placement firm will want to meet with you prior to any effective marketing for a prospective employer. Unscrupulous companies will list the fact that they are working out of your area.
- Research the employment company’s financial situation as well as the amount of time they have been in business.
- Be sure to get everything in writing and ensure that a firm is actually seeking to place you with an employer as opposed to simply listing your qualifications in a public venue. All promises should be included in a written document.
- Read all of the ‘fine print’ of any agreement and have an attorney review it prior to signing anything.
Sharon Knowles, CEO of Da Vinci CyberSecurity says:
“Both individuals and companies that are looking to fill a position can be caught by job scammers. This has become a lucrative opportunity for unscrupulous organizations, allowing loss of investment as well as the release of personal information. Da Vinci CyberSecurity works continuously to assist in keeping everyone informed regarding these forms of scam attempts.”