Fraudulent job offers are becoming increasingly common, with approximately 14 million people exposed to employment scams each year. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission received more than double the number of job scam reports than in the previous year.
The tactics scammers use are diverse. Some encourage job seekers to send personal information or payments. Others hire applicants to reship packages as part of fraud rings or send fake checks or prepaid gift cards to trick people into spending their own money.
When you are searching for a job, it’s important to stay vigilant and learn how to protect yourself against scams. Here are four simple steps you can take to stay safe:
- Learn about popular employment scams.
Read the FTC’s descriptions of common job scams. Get familiar with red flags, such as a potential employer asking you to pay for “starter kits” or resell merchandise.
- Research potential employers.
Search online for information about the company or recruiter, and include terms such as “scam” or “review.” What is their web and social media presence like? Can you find complaints about their practices? Have you been corresponding with someone with a verifiable job title and contact info? Listen to your gut feeling; if something feels off, it probably is.
- Never pay for an “opportunity.”
If an employer ever asks you to send them money in order to get a job or invest in supplies for the job, it’s a scam. A real potential employer won’t ask for any type of payment or ask you to deposit checks or wire money.
- Be wary about giving out personal information.
Sharing some personal details, such as your contact information and employment history, is standard in the job application process. But a legitimate employer won’t ask you for your bank account number or social security number before you’re hired.
MedHQ works hard to keep all of our job applicants safe. Learn more about our full-time, part-time and per-diem job openings around the country.