There are millions of people searching for jobs right now, which can be a stressful time. But to add to that stress: scammers.
These scammers know that people are desperate, and that gives them lots of targets. Recently, FlexJobs identified 14 common job search scams. Among them:
- Data entry. These sound like promising jobs because they offer a lot of money for not a lot of required skill. While there are legitimate jobs out there, they're not going to offer really high pay. In addition, legit jobs don't ask you to pay a "fee" or "initiation payment."
- Pyramid marketing. This is illegal, period. Don't fall for a plan that offers no product, just the exchange of money. Remember chain letters? That's how pyramid schemes operate: they believe that they will benefit when other people follow them into the program and pay money. The key to remember is that in order for someone to make money in a pyramid scheme, someone has to lose.
- Stuffing envelopes. Never sign up to pay a "fee" to stuff envelopes or do anything else like simply craft projects. The plan is to get you to enroll other people, and then you get a small commission. Run from these jobs.
- Unsolicited job offers. When you're hunting for a job, to get an unsolicited recruitment email can be sort of exciting. Be careful, however, because scammers use LinkedIn to reach targets. While a legitimate recruiter might be reaching out, do your homework before responding to check out whether the recruiter or his/her company is well known.