Scam Alert -- How to Spot a Fake Job on Craigslist

No experience necessary, no resume required, immediate start... sounds like the perfect job description, right? Actually, it sounds more like a scam. Craigslist job scams use tempting offers and the names of real organizations (including BBB!) to attract victims.
April 21, 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 Information 

Thanks to the Golden Gate BBB for their reporting on this scam. Read their full alert here. To find out more about scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper.