Scam Alert -- Beware of Job Offer with an Online Interview

  
     
October 05, 2015


Looking for a job? Watch out for this twist on the common job hunt con that uses real business names and "interviews" job candidates over instant messenger. 

How the Scam Works:

You spot an online job posting or receive an email about a position from a "recruiter." You search online for the company name. It's a real business with a website, so you email your resume to the hiring manager.

The "manager" replies and invites you to interview for the position. Instead of coming into the office, the "manager" asks you to do an interview over an instant messenger service. He or she urges you to download the program and answer questions about your qualifications.

The interview goes well and the "manager" offers you the position. Don't take it! Job scams steal money and/or personal information from victims. In one version reported to Better Business Bureau, the "job" is actually a crime. The position involves assisting criminals in transferring stolen money or good out the country. If you participate, you could be prosecuted. 

How to Spot a Job Scam

  • Check the business's website. Scammers frequently post jobs using the names of real companies to lend legitimacy to their cons. Check on the business's website for the position and/or call to confirm.
  • Some positions are more likely to be scams. Always be wary of work from home, secret shopper positions or any job with a generic title, such as caregiver or customer service representative. These positions often don't require special training or licensing, so they appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this so use these kinds of titles as a hook.
  • If a job looks suspicious, search for it online. If the result comes up in other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam. 
  • Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made without an in person interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring him or her.
  • Look for other warning signs. Watch out for communications riddled with typos and bad grammar. If a job posting claims it pays significantly higher than comparable jobs, that is warning sign. If the "hiring manager" is very persistent in his or her communication with you, that's another red flag.  

For More Information

To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam). To learn more about other job scams, check out this post on BBB's Consumer News and Opinion Blog.