As job seekers continue to communicate more and more digitally with prospective employers, it is important to recognize signs of suspicious activity when jobs are advertised and offered without first meeting the employer face-to-face. The following are common signs that communication from an employer might be fraudulent:
Communication is sent from a generic email domain.
Most legitimate recruiting efforts will come from an email that is associated with the company directly, not a Gmail or Yahoo account. Be sure to inspect the email address to make sure the company’s name is spelled and presented correctly as fraudsters sometimes create look-alike email domains to fool job seekers.
The employer is not easy to find when doing a web search.
While you do not need to be Sherlock Holmes to ensure the company is legitimate, it should be easy to search the company’s name on the web and link it to a physical address, phone number, or social media presence.
The employer is asking you to communicate only with apps such as WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, or Telegram.
Communication should be done through official avenues of communication; like meeting face-to-face, through a phone call, or through email from a company-official domain. It is easier for job seekers to determine if a job offer is “too good to be true” when using these methods.
The employer is asking you for copies of important personal identity information, such as driver licenses, credit reports, banking information, or social security information.
Never send personal identification information over the web to potential employers, especially prior to communicating with them in person or over the phone and going through the onboarding process.
The employer is communicating poorly in the language of use.
Recruiters typically should have a fluent knowledge of the language you are communicating in, so frequent grammar mistakes, misspellings, or use of uncommon words should be a red flag.