The scammer uses the job listing to get job seekers to provide personal information including their social security number, credit card information, and/or bank account information. The information is then used to access your bank account or your credit cards and/or to steal your identity.
In addition, fake job scams often attempt to get job seekers to wire money from their bank, send money via Western Union or otherwise send money to the scammer.
Some of these job scams were on Craigslist. However, Craigslist isn't the only job site where there are scam job postings or where your email address may be collected in order to attempt to scam you.
Fake Job Scam Examples
Credit Report Scam
Here's an email sent to a Craigslist applicant: Company would like to take this moment to thank you for your response to our Craigslist job posting, as well as inform you that, after reading through your resume, we are interested in discussing this job opportunity with you in person. In order to proceed to the next step of the hiring process you will need to get your credit score checked. The applicant is directed to a website where they will input personal information including name, address, social security number, etc.
Fake Job Application Scam
This email asks to complete a job application application online. The link takes you to a website where you are to fill out all info needed to steal your identity. The email says: We look forward to reviewing your application and bringing you in for an interview, but can not do so until you complete our company application.
Pay for Background Check Scam
With this scam, a job seeker is told a position has just opened up and an over the phone interview is conducted. The applicant is notified that they would be responsible for the cost of the background check. Then the applicant is told that they have to purchase pre-paid $75 Visa debit card and send it to the interviewer to pay for the background check.
Pay for Software/Programs Scam
The company ask applicants to set up a Yahoo Messenger account for the job briefing and interview. The company then explains that the applicant will need to buy programs in advance and say they will reimburse the candidate.
Bait and Switch Scam: PR/Marketing
This job description isn't what it seems: Start entry-level, develop transferable skills, work with the world's leading corporations, advance to new positions, make money, and along the way figure out what you really want to be when you grow up. The job is actually door to door sales.
Pay for Training Materials Scam
The company asks candidates to complete interview tasks such as testing on accounting questions. Then they will tell you that they are going to set you up with software so you can work at home. Instead of a package they send a cashier's check. They ask the applicant to deposit the check into their bank then withdraw funds, and then send those funds Western Union to get the "training" materials.
Pay for Online Training Scam
In this scam, the job seeker receives an email from a person about a job they applied for that was filled. They had another job that the person was qualified for, but they had to pay to do some online training. This scam used the name of a legitimate company and an email address similar to the real company name.
Direct Deposit Before Interview Scam
The applicant is offered the job via email and told that all employees are paid via Direct Deposit with the company's banking institution - no additional cost for you. The applicant is sent to a website to sign up and told: "After registering your Direct Deposit confirmation, please respond back to this email with your ideal interview date/time. Remember, you need your Direct Deposit account info prior to your interview, as we will be processing your payment information at that time."
Trial Employment Scam
The applicant is told that they were selected as one of two people to go through a three week trial period. The name of the company and the website seem legitimate, but they ask you to fill out a contract with personal information including your Social Security number.
How to Avoid Job Scams
As you can see, it can be hard to tell if a job is a scam or legitimate. Here's how to avoid scams, how to check out companies and jobs, and what scams to watch out for when you are job searching.
You may see advertisements for work at home jobs on this page, because that's the topic of the article. Just because you see an ad here, that doesn't make it a legitimate company. Carefully investigate companies that you are interested in.