Craigslist Job Scams:
I'm certain at one point or another most of you have had to look for work. In the old days that meant a lot of shoe leather schlepping around from one place to another begging for jobs. Now things have become much easier and more dangerous. With the click of a mouse you can send your information all over the web and apply to several different job opportunities. Don't think this great advancement has escaped the eyes of the scammer. The scammers have also taken advantage of places like Craigslist to get your information. There are a few different things to be careful with here. As I have already explained in another post there is the Psycho potential employer that will lure you to his home or office and chop you up into little bite size pieces. If you think "Silence of the Lambs" was a weird, twisted movie, I have news for you, there are people in the real world that are like the bad guys in that movie.
Problem number two is dangerous in a different way. The second way that the Craigslist job scam works is by getting your information or your money. As with other scams there will be some jobs that will sound very enticing and have great potential. The problem arises when you have to get a background check or some other sort of professional training or any other nonsense the scammer can create. At this point they will inform you that if you wish to apply for a job you will have to wire them some money to secure your position and to defray the cost of said background check, etc. There goes your money being wired to some foreign country again.
The other version of the Craigslist jobs scam is the information gathering scam. This can happen in one of two ways. If you send out your resume with all your personal information on it, then you just made it really easy for them. Now they can take your info and steal your identity. Thank you, that was easy!
If you are smart and have taken my advice and keep all your personal information very close to the vest, then they will have to work on you a little harder. The next method is to tell you that to be able to apply for a position with their company you have to apply through a professional staffing firm such as greatcareersearch.com or perfectfitcareers.com. Check out these two site if you are curious, You will find that they are both the SAME site. Now do you see how easy it is to create bogus sites and emails? Once you register with sites such as these you will be asked a variety of questions and slowly you will start giving out your personal details. The more they get from you, the more they can steal your identity. The biggest crime in the world right now is Identity Theft!
You can avoid getting caught up in the web of scammers if you simply use your brain, and follow some common sense. OK, I'll help you out.
I'll play Letterman and give you the
"Top Twenty methods to spot a Craigslist job scam".
Drum roll please!!!
1. It has a generic, overused or vague job title. "Administrative Assistant" or "Customer Service Rep". (I'm sure you can think of some others)
2. The job indicates that "Telecommuting is OK". (I can work from home? WOW, this is the perfect job for me!)
3. They don't list a specific location for the job - i.e., No location under the city or area that you are searching. (Well, it must be a job in the Ethernet right? NOT!)
4. They list a salary or hourly wage that seems too good to be true or too specific like "$12.95 - $38.45 / hour." (Wow, a high paying, nondescript job, this sounds like a government job!)
5. They list it as a government job. (HAHAHAHA, See above)
6. They post a job with a title that doesn't match the description. (They aren't very smart, and they hope you aren't either.)
7. They use strange sentences or misspellings. (that's exactly what you want, a boss that can't spell)
8. A search for that job title in Yahoo - example "Admin Assistant Craig's List" comes up in many other cities with the exact same job post. Since Craigslist is free, they can easily post the same job in every city. (Maybe it's a big company with lots of openings? Get real.)
9. Too many exclamation points and promises high income. (High Income!! Hire You NOW!!!! Big Fortune for you!!!!!!!!!)
10. If the description boldly states "No Experience Necessary" but has a promise of high pay.... (Again, sounds like a government job. Great salary, great pension, job security, no experience needed.)
11. There is no job contact information. Any normal job will have some sort of contact information. (Maybe they have telepathy and will contact you mentally)
12. A link that is to a home business or multi level marketing opportunity website. (Hey, come join my pyramid scheme.)
13. A link that redirects you to another site. (what's the matter, the first site, wasn't good enough?)
14. A link that takes you to a job membership site and asks you to register. (Already discussed this. That's a No No!)
15. A quick response to your email inquiry that tells you they have reviewed your resume, that you never sent. (Man, that is some powerful telepathy they got.)
16. A quick response to your email inquiry that leads you to another website that promises you more job openings click after click. (The more clicks the merrier, for them, since they are probably making money off each click.)
17. A response to your email inquiry that asks you to sign up for a web-conferencing service so you can be part of a training call. (And I thought party lines went out in the 50's)
18. A response to your email inquiry with a name and company that does not exist. (Just like your paycheck)
19. A response to your email inquiry from someone in a foreign country looking to hire people in the United States to handle accounts payable or receivables. (A money laundering scheme. But I hate the Laundromat!)
20. The same auto response to all of your emails, no matter what you ask. (Automated responses, at least they know how to use technology.)
I know I make fun, but I hope this helps!!!!!!!
Darn that exclamation mark got away from me again.
Follow these rules, do your homework and you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble. If you really must respond to a job listing, don't send your resume right away. Test out the waters. Send an email and ask a few questions. Check back here if you don't remember all these guidelines. Remember if they don't answer your questions in the response email and they start dancing around the questions, just walk away. You should be able to tell if a response is real or just fishing for info from you. Read any responses carefully and read between the lines. Break down the response and see if you can find fault with it. For example, some scammers will use the details from real companies. If they send you info from a real company I'm sure you can figure out how to cross reference and see if that person or position really exists. Search the web for details about that company.
Here's Another Scam:
The Printing & Sending Checks Job Scam?
So I just got contacted by someone via text message cause I posted an ad earlier that I'm looking for a job (I posted my cell #) on Craigslist. They asked if I was still looking for a job. (Yes) then they asked if I had a computer & printer. (Yes) Now this is where it gets a little odd. They told my that I would be printing and sending checks to them & that I'd get paid bi-weekly a certain amount of $$. They said that they would give me the software to print out the checks, & that I have to create a yahoo IM & then to give them my yahoo ID to chat. I don't know if I'm just supper skeptical or what but do you think I should go through with this?
Reality Check! This is only a scammer trying to steal your hard-earned money.
The next email will be from another of the scammer's fake names and free email addresses pretending to be the "secretary/assistant/accountant" and will demand you spend your own money to purchase a new printer, ink and blank check paper. You then print fake checks and use a stolen UPS/FedEx billing account number to send the fake checks to victims who think they have a work-at-home job cashing checks sending most of the "money" via Western Union or moneygram back to the scammer posing as the "supply company". Any check you receive to buy the supplies or as a paycheck will also be fake.
Western Union and moneygram do not verify anything on the form the sender fills out, not the name, not the street address, not the country, not even the gender of the receiver, it all means absolutely nothing. The clerk will not bother to check ID and will simply hand off your cash to whomever walks in the door with the MTCN# and question/answer. Neither company will tell the sender who picked up the cash, at what store location or even in what country your money walked out the door. Neither company has any kind of refund policy, money sent is money gone forever.
When you refuse to print his fake checks and send him your cash he will send increasingly nasty and rude emails trying to convince you to go through with his scam. The scammer could also create another fake name and email address like "FBI@ gmail.com", "police_person @hotmail.com" or "investigator @yahoo.com" and send emails telling you the job is legit and you must cash the fake check and send your money to the scammer or you will face legal action. Just ignore, delete and block those email addresses. Although, reading a scammer's attempt at impersonating a law enforcement official can be extremely funny.
Now that you have responded to a scammer, you are on his 'potential sucker' list, he will try again to separate you from your cash. He will send you more emails from his other free email addresses using another of his fake names with all kinds of stories of great jobs, lottery winnings, millions in the bank and desperate, lonely, sexy singles. He will sell your email address to all his scamming buddies who will also send you dozens of fake emails all with the exact same goal, you sending them your cash via Western Union or moneygram.
You could post up the email address that the scammer is using, it will help make your post more googlable for other suspicious potential victims to find when looking for information.
Do you know how to check the header of a received email? If not, you could google for information. Being able to read the header to determine the geographic location an email originated from will help you weed out the most obvious scams and scammers. Then delete and block that scammer. Don't bother to tell him that you know he is a scammer, it isn't worth your effort. He has one job in life, convincing victims to send him their hard-earned cash.
Whenever suspicious or just plain curious, google everything, website addresses, names used, companies mentioned, phone numbers given, all email addresses, even sentences from the emails as you might be unpleasantly surprised at what you find already posted online. You can also post/ask here and every scam-warner-anti-fraud-busting site you can find before taking a chance and losing money to a scammer.
"Rules to follow" to avoid most fake jobs:
1) Job asks you to use your personal bank account and/or open a new one.
2) Job asks you to print/mail/cash a check or money order.
3) Job asks you to use Western Union or moneygram in any capacity.
4) Job asks you to accept packages and re-ship them on to anyone.
5) Job asks you to pay visas, travel fees via Western Union or moneygram.
6) Job asks you to sign up for a credit reporting or identity verification site.
Avoiding all jobs that mention any of the above listed 'red flags' and you will miss nearly all fake jobs. Only scammers ask you to do any of the above. No. Exceptions. Ever. For any reason.