During this Unprecedented Time, Help Wanted Scams are on the Rise
Help Wanted/Job SCAMS are definitely on the rise during this unprecedented time. Be especially wary of "work from home” jobs that may seem unrealistic or too good to be true. Unscrupulous scammers understand that desperation sometimes leads to less pragmatism when it comes to your job search and they are capitalizing on layoffs and financial woes.
Before you respond to any postings, please do your research. Just a reminder of some helpful tips:
If the posting is advertised by a well-known company, but the email address is a personal email such as gmail, yahoo, or similar provider -- that is suspect. (For example, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. My company’s name is part of the address after @.) You can google to see what the appropriate email should be for someone that works at the company that posted the job. (Look up “email addresses at ____ company” to find their usual email style.) This is especially important since sometimes the scam email mimics the real email address – similar, but not exactly the same.
If the company name is unfamiliar to you, look up the company itself, or the email and/or phone number, with keywords “reviews” and “scam.” Better Business Bureau and Yelp are also resources to check reviews.
If you found this post on social media, check the profile of the person who posted it. Does it look legitimate? Does it show their location? Does the person have a good number of connections? But – on the suspicious side – watch out for posters who belong to hundreds of groups.
You should not be asked for personal financial information. For example, your social security number, your bank account, your home address, date of birth, etc., early on in the job interview process.
Finally, if you are contacted by a recruiter or executive search firm seeking to help you find work for a fee, just say no. You should never have to pay a recruiter or any staffing company to represent you in a job search. That fee is paid to by the hiring company.
Listen to your instincts. If it seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Be safe and smart; don’t become prey for unscrupulous people trying to capitalize on unemployment fears.
Best wishes and health to everyone,
Elisa Halpern Sheftic