How to spot job scams online and avoid losing money

Job seekers, beware.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning of fake job postings, scam recruiter emails and work-at-home schemes.

According to the bureau, these scams often begin with an email or text from a supposed employer asking you to apply for a job or help wanted ad, often using real company names or government agencies.

Some victims of the scam reported doing fake interviews through a video chat service, the agency said. It added that job offers without an interview are also more likely to be a scam.

The agency warned these fake companies could charge you upfront for training or ask for your personal and banking information for a credit check or to set up direct deposit.

They could also ask you to buy expensive supplies or equipment, or the company could claim you were “accidentally” overpaid and ask you to wire back the difference.

“No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask for money to be wired elsewhere,” the agency warned. “This is a common trick used by scammers.”

The BBB advised keeping an eye out for jobs that are more likely to be scams such as secret shopper or work-from-home positions or jobs that don’t need special training or have generic job titles.

“If the job posting is for a well-known brand, check the real company's job page to see if the position is posted there. Look online; if the job comes up in other cities with the exact same post, it’s likely a scam,” the bureau said.


The BBB also recommended getting details confirmed in a contract before paying a job recruiter to help you get a job.

“Be cautious sharing personal information or any kind of pre-payment,” it said. “Be careful if a company promises you great opportunities or big income as long as you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories.”