How to determine if a job offer is a scam

How to determine if a job offer is a scam

Scammers are aware how hard it can be to find a job and they prey on this weakness through tricking people with the lure of job offers. They will tend to advertise on mediums used by job consultancy firms and real employers to entice people. Moreover, they make promises about getting you a job offer that is actually non-existent and all they ask for in return is a payment for their so-called services.

So, if you are wondering how you can determine if a job offer is actually a scam, read on to get a fair idea.

What are the types of Job Scams?

The increasingly competitive nature of today’s employment market has led to an increase in the number of job-related scams. These scams target individuals looking for work and it’s important to stay vigilant against them. Here are the types of job scams to look out for:

Fraudulent job postings: A fake job ad is a type of job scam in which a job seeker applies for a position that does not exist. The job advertisement could be on a reputable employment board or a bogus firm website. After applying for the position, the job seeker may receive an email or a phone call seeking personal information or an advance payment.

Using online messaging apps: Scammers sometimes use online messaging apps and may contact you via a specific chat platform or phone number, requesting sensitive information. The apps will then charge a lot of money on your credit card without your knowledge. They could also potentially steal your credit card details.

Fraudulent career consultations: This type of scam requires extra caution as people often pose as authentic professionals. When an individual posing as a job counselor contacts you about your CV, they might commend you on your resume while also making suggestions on needed “improvements.” They then offer to charge you to revise your resume, or have someone else look into it for a certain price.

Payment Scams: In a payment scam, the scammer asks for money up front from the job seeker in order to secure the position. The money could be a processing fee, a training fee, or some other kind. After getting paid, the scammer goes away, leaving the job seeker with nothing.

Fraudulent emails: A fake job offer sent via email is a common tactic used in phishing attacks to get sensitive information, such as bank account numbers. In return, they promise advantages like access to immediate job placements or future job openings. They will often create bogus email addresses that look like those used by the legitimate business they are attempting to spoof.

What are the warning signs of a job scam?

There are several signs that can help you recognize whether a job offer is a scam. These include:

  • Payment required: The most common sign of a job scam is when you are asked to pay a certain amount of money to get a job. Employees do not pay the employer; it is supposed to be vice versa.
  • No experience required: If the job description is vague and you do not require any skills or experience to get it, this is usually the first sign of a job scam; even an entry-level job requires some sort of experience or skills.
  • Suspicious emails: Emails that do not include any form of contact information for the concerned organization or are sent from a personal account are usually employment scams. Scammers will often send emails from accounts that resemble the actual email account of an organization. For example, you could receive a job offer from ‘[email protected]’, whereas the actual email account of the organization is ‘[email protected]’.
  • You did not apply: This is another sign of a job scam. People who contact you will usually say that they found your resume online or may tempt you by offering you a job right away. In these cases, it is better to conduct a background check on the firm to see if it actually exists.
  • Unprofessional communication: Job offers containing grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and incorrect punctuation are definitely scam emails, as authentic job offers would not include such errors.
  • Unbelievable pay with less effort: These work-from-home scams would offer to pay well for a few hours a day. Legitimate work-from-home positions would require standard work hours and will have a proper website containing their contact information.
  • You have to provide sensitive information: If your personal information such as date of birth, driver’s license number, bank details or address is requested in a job offer, more likely than not, it is a scam. No genuine organization will ask for your personal details in the job offer itself.
  • No phone calls or video interviews are ever conducted: No legitimate business would ever ask you to interview through text message online chats. Scammers will never reveal their true identities. Don’t waste your time if you can’t communicate with the recruiter or hiring manager through phone or video calls.
  • One of the main job descriptions is to “have new recruits:” Pyramid schemes, often known as multi-level marketing (MLM), can be difficult to spot since recruiters are skilled at making their companies sound legitimate. However, this is one sign that the job position is for MLM, therefore it’s best to avoid these types of offers.

How to check if a job offer is fake?

If you have any doubts regarding the authenticity of a job offer, take a look at some pointers that will help you assess it:

  • Interview process: Job scammers usually conduct interviews over the phone or through instant messaging apps. If you are attending an interview that takes place through an instant messaging app, it is a fake job. Job interviews for real jobs are formal in nature and are conducted face to face.
  • Job details: If a job description is confusing or if little information is provided about the post, then it is probably a job scam. For example, if a job description says, “looking for adult candidates who are citizens of the country and have access to the Internet”, this is clearly a fake job advertisement.
  • Conduct a background check: If you receive a job offer, ensure you carry out a background check on the organization. Try obtaining the organization’s address, contact information and history. If this information is not present, then the job offer is fake.
  • Check scam lists: When you receive a job offer from a firm, you can contact organizations like Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission to check if the concerned firm has been reported as a scammer.

How to avoid Internet job scams?

Take a look at some tips that will help you in identifying and avoiding job scams:

  • Examine the job offer for anything suspicious: Employment scams usually have certain hints that can help in recognizing fake jobs. These could range from spelling errors in the job advertisements and job offers to the contact email address. For example, if you receive a job offer from ‘[email protected]’, then you should assume that it is a scam.
  • Be suspicious of jobs that request your bank account details: You should never provide your bank account details to the people who provide you with a job offer. These are innovative ways to scam you and take your money.
  • Apply for jobs through reputable agencies: This is an excellent method to protect yourself from Internet job scams. Agencies will send your resume to actual organizations and the job offer would be received through the agency.
  • Trust your instincts: If you feel a job offer is too good to be true, it probably is. When you receive your job offer, compare the salary package online with similar job roles.

How to safely search for jobs online?

Job boards and other online resources have made it easier than ever to look for work. Although it is quite convenient to find a job online, it is crucial to take safety precautions.  Here are several ways to stay secure while browsing for work opportunities online:

  • Browse through trusted job search sites: Use well-known and reliable job search sites when looking for jobs. Stick to websites that have been around for some time and have a solid reputation.
  • Do extensive research: Before applying for a job online, it’s a good idea to do some background research on the organization to make sure it’s not a scam. See if they have a website, examine customer reviews, and be wary of any complaints or negative feedback.
  • Keep your private details safe: Take care with the information you provide to prospective employers. Only give information that is essential, such as your name, your email address, and your phone number. Never reveal private information such as your social security number or your bank account details to a potential employer before you have established that they are a real business, and you are confident in their legitimacy.
  • Use a strong password: When making accounts on job search websites, make sure to choose secure passwords that are both unique and challenging to figure out. It is strongly recommended that you do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • Use a dedicated email address for professional transactions: Create a dedicated email address for your job search and use it exclusively. Your private inbox will be safer from spam and phishing attacks by doing this.

Fake job offer letter sample

Take a look at a sample fake job letter:


We saw ur resume online and would like to offer u job in company – E&F&Z Associates.
Ur job role and responsibilities will remain same as stated in your resume. We will give 60% hike over current salary, making your total salary package $200,000 CAD annually.
You have 2 log in for only 30 hours every week compared to ur current 45 hours. We will also give you the freedom to work from home.

If you wish accept the job offer, pls send email at ‘[email protected]’, with information of:
 Date birth;
 Home address;
 Social Insurance Number (SIN);
 Bank account details.

Yours in service,
Mike V,
E&F&Z Associates.

How to report a fake job offer letter?

You can employ several methods to report a fake job offer letter, such as:

  • File a complaint with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC): The CAFC is Canada’s central repository for data, intelligence and resource material as it relates to fraud. Filing a complaint can be done offline or online.
  • Report the organization to the Better Business Bureau (BBB): Enter the organization’s name into the search box present on BBB’s website to see if the organization has any past history of scams. You can also file a complaint on this website.
  • Report a fraudulent website to Google: If you have received a fake employment offer letter from a fraudulent firm, you can report its website to Google.

The Toronto School of Management (TSoM) helps in providing you with skills that will help you in actual job interviews and your career as a whole. TSoM offers a variety of diplomas in several fields.


  1.  What are job scams?
    A job scam is a false employment opportunity that is aimed to deceive individuals into handing away personal information, money, or both. These fraudulent job offers are typically found online.
  2.  How can you tell if a job offer is a scam?
    A job scam can be identified by the following red flags: requests for personal information or payments in advance, unrealistic salary claims, claims of easy money, and poor grammar or wording in the job advertisement itself.
  3.  What should I do if I suspect a job scam?
    Do not provide personal information or payment if you suspect a job a scam. You can also notify the appropriate authorities, as well as the platform you are searching on, about the suspected job posting.
  4.  How can I protect myself from job scams?
    You can avoid job scams by doing research about the company and the job position and being extra careful about providing personal information openly.
  5.  How can I know if a job posting or prospective employer, is legitimate?
    Research about the company, see whether they have a website and an internet presence, and look for reviews or complaints to confirm the credibility of the job posting or the company.

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