With more people out of work, there are more targets for job search scam artists. As those looking for work find themselves in more dire need of new employment, they can be particularly vulnerable to such scams.
Here are four scams to watch out for:
Work at home schemes. An oldie but a goodie. Does making money hand over fist while sitting at home sound too good to be true? That's because it is. Huge alarm bells should ring if anyone offers such a job but asks for your bank account information or for an up-front fee payment.
Job offers that ask you to pay a fee. This should be a huge red flag. Some scam artists pose as potential employers who need you to pay a fee to cover the background check, etc. that goes along with the job application. You should never have to pay to be considered for a job.
Headhunters than want an up-front fee from you. Typically, the employer pays any headhunter fee charged by job placement companies. Before signing on for any job search assistance, research the company. If they ask for money up front, be particularly cautious and find out how you would get a refund if they prove unable to help you land a job.
Identity thieves posing as potential employers or as headhunters. Identity thieves will prey on any vulnerability in order to get you to give your personal information. This includes preying on folks looking for work. Unsolicited emails might direct you to the website of a supposed employer, but which actually aims to install maliscious software onto you computer (to feret out personal information). Others may string you along and then ask for your social security number and bank account information. Be wary of any unsolicited emails. And while taking a new job does involve giving your social security number, and direct deposits require bank account information, never give them out via email or on a website. As the job search hopefully leads to a real employer, be extremely careful to know who is asking for such information.