Job Seeker Help Center

Guidelines for Safe Job Search

Quick summary

Our goal is to maintain the highest level of security and privacy for our users and not show a preference for any job or role while keeping Indeed accessible to all. The following guidelines are designed to help job seekers recognize and avoid fraudulent tactics.

Our goal

At Indeed, our mission of helping people get jobs includes working proactively to help keep predatory content out of search results and providing tools to help job seekers protect their personal information and financial well-being.

We have several teams across the globe dedicated to the safety and authenticity of the jobs posted on our platform. 

Need more help? Follow these tips if you believe you are a victim of a scam.

Job search guidelines

Job search do's

Look for verifiable company email addresses. Larger, more established companies usually have email addresses with top-level domains that match their websites.

Generally, communications from such large established companies do not come from publicly available addresses like Yahoo or Gmail.

If you are contacted by someone with a generic address, ask if they are able to conduct communications via a company domain email address. If they can't or won't, proceed with caution.

Watch closely for email addresses with misspelled or "spoofed" company names. These are often similar but do not exactly match the actual company name. Examples of suspicious addresses include "Info@company.net" instead of "Info@company.com," and misspelled company names like "Info@companie.com" or "Info@compaany.com."

Match the job offer to your application. Avoid bait-and-switch scams by confirming that employers who respond to your applications are offering the job for which you applied.

Be cautious when pursuing positions with salaries, perks, and flexibility that seem too good to be true. Ask questions to confirm that the position is salaried (not commission only) and that there is a physical base of operations when a "work from home" opportunity is advertised.

Insist on an in-person or video interview. Be wary of job offers that come with little or no interview process. Scammers often avoid face-to-face interviews by relying on chat services, such as Google Hangouts, while offering "work from home" positions.

Always report suspicious communications to Indeed. If you are contacted by someone you suspect of fraudulent intentions or suspicious business practices, please contact Indeed immediately.

Job search don'ts

Never send any form of payment to a potential employer you apply to on Indeed. Not only is charging fees a violation of Indeed's rules for companies, but these are often a type of scam.

Never agree to perform any financial transaction on behalf of a potential employer. This includes but is not limited to, accepting or making wire transfers or cashing checks sent to you in order to make purchases on someone's behalf.

Never agree to a job that involves opening multiple accounts and/or posting ads on Indeed or on other sites. While there are certain roles where this activity may be accepted, such as recruiting or staffing services, exercise caution if asked upfront to open accounts for an employer you have not met.

These are likely scammers and you could become involved in activities that may put you in financial and legal jeopardy.

Never accept money upfront for work you have not performed. This is a tactic commonly used in financial scams and can put you at considerable legal risk.

Types of scams to avoid

Check scams

Check scams aim to get people to unwittingly take on the risk of passing a bad check. Look out for scammers who offer elaborate stories about needing a personal assistant, caregiver, or someone to cash a check to make large purchases or transfer money for them while they are out of town.

These often include stories where:

  • You are required to purchase expensive medical equipment for a family member for them.
  • They are going to open up a new office "in your area" and you are required to purchase office supplies, equipment, or software using the check.
  • They offer to pay you upfront for work you haven't performed yet and ask that you transfer the remainder of the check to another account for them.

Money laundering scams

Reputable, legitimate companies should never ask you to perform financial transactions or money transfers for them, especially via Western Union, MoneyGram, or cryptocurrency (for example Bitcoin, Ether, or Monero).

Even if you are not asked to transfer any of your own money, scammers are often looking for other people to perform scam-related financial transactions so they don’t have to.

Reshipping scams

There is virtually no legitimate scenario where an employer should require you to re-ship packages from your home. These are known as Reshipping Scams and offer work-at-home positions, sometimes advertised as "merchandising manager" or "package processing assistant."

Duties may include receiving packages and mailing them to foreign addresses on behalf of a client, using postage-paid mailing labels provided via email. Unbeknownst to the new “employee,” these packages may contain, for example:

  • Merchandise bought with stolen credit cards, which are smuggled out of the country by the reshipping scam.
  • Counterfeit postal money orders, which are distributed to other scammers.

After reshipping these packages, the "employee" is often paid with counterfeit checks or postal money orders. More information on reshipping scams is available from the U.S. Postal Inspection Services website.

Fee scams

It shouldn't cost you money to apply for a job on Indeed. Not only do fee scams fleece job seekers, they are also signs that a company may be involved in other shady activities. Certain legitimate expenditures like uniforms and job tools may be required after you accept a position, but are generally deducted from your salary after you begin working.

Likewise, background checks are most often paid for by the employer or offered directly to you by a local government agency and should not be paid by you in the form of a fee to the employer. Types of fees often levied unscrupulously include:

  • Application fees
  • Recruiter placement fees
  • Interview reservations
  • Training fees
  • Resume formatting or re-writing fees
  • Background check fees

Cryptocurrency scams

Cryptocurrency scams aim to defraud individuals out of their money, trick individuals into defrauding other people out of their money, or get people to unknowingly engage in fraudulent financial transactions.

Jobs relating to cryptocurrency, such as "employers" asking you to help recruit investors, participate in the selling or mining of cryptocurrency, or help convert cash to cryptocurrency are likely scams and should be avoided.

Additionally, be wary of any "employer" that asks you to invest money in a cryptocurrency application, as this is a common method used to deceive people 

Additional information on cryptocurrency scams can be found on the Federal Trade Commission's website.

Identity and ID.me account theft

Since the pandemic, there has been an increase in fraudulent behavior from individuals who have stolen or are trying to steal others' identities and/or ID.me accounts. ID.me credentials can be used to access government services and healthcare logins.

Do not share your ID.me username, password, or verification codes with an employer.

Be extremely cautious if an employer asks you for sensitive information like a copy of the front and back of your driver's license, social security number, passport, or date of birth in messages or during an interview.

Scammers may attempt to gain access to sensitive information from job seekers in order to file fraudulent unemployment benefit claims, file fraudulent tax returns, or for other types of fraud involving identity theft.

Unemployment benefit fraud

Unemployment benefit fraud happens when someone uses other people's information to illegally receive unemployment benefits. More information about unemployment fraud can be found on the Federal Trade Commission's website. You can also report unemployment fraud to the FTC

Tax identity fraud

Tax identity theft is when someone uses your Social Security number to steal your tax refund or for work. More information about tax identity fraud can be found on the Federal Trade Commission's website. You can also report tax identity fraud to the FTC.

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