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Five Tips to Protect Against Sophisticated Job Scams

  • Five Tips to Protect Against Sophisticated Job Scams-

    Lack of Verifiable Contact Information

    The scam: You find a great work-at-home job with what appears to be a legitimate company and website. However, the only available information on the contact page is an anonymous inquiry submission form.

    How to detect the scam: This is a matter of finding out if the company is actually a legitimate employer or if the website is merely a front entity created to make it appear legitimate. It's not a sound business practice to completely withhold information allowing visitors to verify either the owner, address, or phone number for a company, and at the very least it should be a red flag to raise your skepticism about the intentions of the company's site. Be sure to conduct your own thorough research outside of the company webpage to determine if the business is legitimate. 

    One free resource is the Guide to the Best Companies for Flexible Jobs, a database containing thousands of pre-screened and vetted companies that offer legitimate work-from-home and flexible jobs. Job seekers can use this resource to determine if a company they've found is legitimate or not, with options to search alphabetically, by location, or by industry. 

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Five Tips to Protect Against Sophisticated Job Scams

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  • Five Tips to Protect Against Sophisticated Job Scams-5

    Lack of Verifiable Contact Information

    The scam: You find a great work-at-home job with what appears to be a legitimate company and website. However, the only available information on the contact page is an anonymous inquiry submission form.

    How to detect the scam: This is a matter of finding out if the company is actually a legitimate employer or if the website is merely a front entity created to make it appear legitimate. It's not a sound business practice to completely withhold information allowing visitors to verify either the owner, address, or phone number for a company, and at the very least it should be a red flag to raise your skepticism about the intentions of the company's site. Be sure to conduct your own thorough research outside of the company webpage to determine if the business is legitimate. 

    One free resource is the Guide to the Best Companies for Flexible Jobs, a database containing thousands of pre-screened and vetted companies that offer legitimate work-from-home and flexible jobs. Job seekers can use this resource to determine if a company they've found is legitimate or not, with options to search alphabetically, by location, or by industry. 

The continued expansion of Internet and cloud capabilities has led to more and more individuals having the opportunity to work from home. Online jobs have expanded the employment landscape into a phenomenon with a global reach. Unfortunately, as with any lucrative market, cyber scammers have taken notice. As the number of individuals working from home has increased, so too has the sophistication of jobs scams. It's such an issue that even the FBI and BBB have issued warnings to job seekers looking for work-at-home jobs.

While you might think it's easy to identify job scams – for example, those with extremely poor grammar or those that require an upfront investment – scammers have become more sophisticated and convincing in their tactics to trap job seekers. While these scams largely target work-at-home jobs, they can apply to regular job postings, as well.

"Job seekers have grown sensitive to the typical warning signs of fake job listings, so scammers have evolved their tactics to trick them," said Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, a leading online service for professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs. "In order to ensure a safer online job search experience, today's job seekers need to be aware of how job scams have matured so they can adequately protect themselves."

This slideshow features five sophisticated job scams and tips to identify and guard against them.