• Offered job during an instant messenger interview, often Yahoo Messenger. Jobs ARE NOT offered during online interviews!
• Scammers use personal email accounts like @yahoo.com, @gmail.com. Real employer email addresses END with the company name like @starbucks.com, @abilitylinks.org, @walmart.com.
• Offered a check or direct deposit/asked for bank account information. NEVER give bank account numbers, routing information or money to anyone you don't know.
• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. How to Tell if a Job is a Scam.
Being asked to create an instant messenger account for online "interview" (Yahoo IM is very popular among scammers and a good way to hide their identity), may use a real company name but a personal email account such as Yahoo or Google (email address does not match company name and does not include verifiable address, phone number and website that corresponds to a legitimate company), get an email/text that references your AbilityLinks resume but no or general knowledge of resume details, easy to get the job and being pressured to take it, offered a phony check to pay for software or training or equipment and then asked for a copy of bank deposit slip (this is a way to get access to your bank account.) are common signs of a job scam:
Ten Important Warning Signs and Tips
- Does it sound too good to be true? Does the pay and benefits sound great and work sound easy?
- Yahoo instant messenger is very popular among scammers. Are you offered an interview via instant messenger? Offered the job right away and pressured to take it?
- Broad or vague job requirements. To seem legitimate the scammer may list job requirements and qualifications that are broad and vague and that almost anyone can do.
- Unprofessional emails and texts. Look for bad grammar and poor English. There are often misspellings, poor punctuation and English grammar in emails and text messages.
- Read emails and text messages carefully. Do they refer to your skills in general terms without reference to your actual qualifications, education and specific job skills?
- Uses a personal email address. The email account should belong to a company, not an individual. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org is a company email address while email@example.com is a personal email account.
- Do Your Research. Verify contact information. Scammers may use a real company name or a name similar to a real company. Does the email or text you receive include a verifiable email address, street address, phone number and website that correspond to a legitimate company? Is the job you are being offered on the company’s website? Take the additional step of searching the internet by the company name and the words job scam to find out if others have reported scams. You can also add the name of the person contacting you to the search.
- The scammer’s goal is to get your money. Are you being offered a check, asked for a copy of the deposit slip, asked to open a bank account, asked for money to pay for job equipment, software or supplies? The check is phony and a way to get access to your bank account. Don't share bank account information. Don’t accept a check. If you do, don’t deposit it. If you do, don’t send back a copy of the deposit slip. This is a way to get access to your bank account.
- Read these additional excellent tips, examples and advice to avoid job scams.
- Trust your gut. Checking out and researching the company is your best defense. If you get a feeling that things aren't right trust that feeling and don't go any further.
If you have been the victim of an internet scam you can report it to the internet crime complaint center. Click this link to learn more.