How to Spot a Fake Job Listing on Craig's List

April 28, 2014

How the Scam Works:

You see a job post on It says your local BBB is hiring 10 "Customer Service Representatives" for a new branch office (see screen shot). The ad claims that the job doesn't require previous experience... or even a resume. You just need to respond immediately to ensure that you secure one of the limited interview slots.

CraigslistSounds too-good-to-be-true? It is! This BBB job scam is from the San Francisco Bay area, but watch out for fake job ads throughout the U.S. and Canada. 

Job scams have many different twists. Scammers may ask job seekers to pay upfront for training, which never materializes. Or they may "hire" you and send a fake check. The con artists will instruct you to deduct a fraction for payment and wire the rest back. Other scams ask you to complete an online application that requests personal identifying information and bank account numbers that can be used for identity theft. 

Tips to Avoid Falling for Fake Job Scams

Spot a job scam before you waste your time and money.

  1. Some positions are more likely to be scams: Use extra caution when looking at ads for jobs with generic titles, such as admin assistant or customer service representative. These often don't require special training or licensing, so they appeal to a wide range of applicants
  2. Watch out for these phrases: Scam ads often contain the phrases "Teleworking OK," "Immediate Start" and "No Experience Needed." Watch out for ads that urge you to apply immediately.
  3. If a job looks suspicious, search for it in Google. If the result comes up in many other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam.
  4. Be very cautious of any job that asks you to share personal information or hand over money. Scammers will often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit or paying for training.
  5. Check out the business' website to make sure the opening is posted there.  If you are still skeptical, call the business to check on the position. Don't rely on websites or phone numbers provided in the advertisement; find the "employer" on your own to make sure it's the real deal. 


For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB of South Central Louisiana, Inc. has been serving the local community since 1950 and services the parishes of Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge & West Feliciana.