Watch out for job scams!

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Sometimes we come across a job ad that looks too good to be true. Maybe the duties are too simple and the requirements are almost non-existent. Maybe the pay is exceptionally higher than the others in that same category. Despite those initial red flags, they have a website that looks legitimate, and a friendly voice answers the phone when you call. How do you proceed? The answer is: with caution.

It’s hard not to feel hopeful when you finally see a position that fits your skills, pays well and is located in a place you can actually get to. But we should always have our guard up when it comes to what we see online, especially when it feels too easy. Here are some things to remember:

  • Ask a lot of questions and ask them more than once. Many scammers won’t have thought about the details and you’ll notice big gaps and inconsistencies in their answers, if they even answer you at all. Real recruiters reach out to you because they want you to work for their company. This means they’re prepared to answer any and all questions related to the company and the role, and they’ll be able to provide external resources like websites or references.
  • Did you receive a job ad addressed directly to you? Unless you’re working in a highly specialized field or have very specific skill sets, it’s rare for companies to reach out to you with an opportunity. If they do reach out to you, it’s likely because of a shared network, and they should be able to pinpoint exactly who or where they’ve heard about you.
  • Something’s wrong if they hire you right away. Many employers are particular when it comes to adding a new person to the team, and that means they have many checks in place to ensure they find the right person. If you find yourself being offered a job without needing to send a resume or coming in for some type of interview, say “thank you” and try your luck elsewhere.
  • Be wary of any companies that ask for or send you money in any form. If you’re given instructions to deposit a cheque into your account or transfer money to an account, don’t do it. When in doubt consult the bank directly by going in-person or using the contact information from the bank’s own website. Scammers can be crafty, and the contact information on the cheque is most likely connected to them or someone working for them. Those people will be quick to reassure you everything’s okay and you should proceed as instructed.

Use common sense and think critically next time you see a job ad that’s too good to be true. If you still feel like something’s wrong even after you do your research, trust your gut and get out of that situation. Remember that your Employment Consultant is there to help you if you are ever confused or unsure.

Author: Liz Haacke, Employment Consultant and Nelsa Uson, Employer Liaison

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