How to Avoid Being Scammed

research 1Research is probably the biggest defense you have against getting scammed. Start with a simple Google search and find out if you’re pursuing a legitimate opportunity — or if other folks have been targeted with the same scam. Job postings with lots of errors, misspellings, and/or typos are often scams. Also, when you search on Google for a job posting, see if the identical ad comes up in numerous other cities. If it does, it may be a scam.

Act cautiously when receiving job offers that sound too good to be true. If you receive an email “out of the blue” with a job offer, investigate it thoroughly before responding, or simply delete it.

Sometimes, the scam can be quite elaborate — you may be asked to participate in several phone interviews, or complete a pre-employment test. However, being asked to jump through several hoops does not mean a job opportunity is legitimate.

If you are deliberate about investigating things that might be helpful to you in your job search — whether that’s working with someone to help you with your résumé or LinkedIn profile, or you’re exploring work-at-home opportunities — doing your homework is certainly important.

For work-at-home opportunities, research is especially relevant because you can often find legitimate work-at-home opportunities listed online, and with a little homework, you can see that those are legitimate ones as opposed to a scam.

Having a plan is also a good defense. The more focused you are on your job goal, the less desperate you are. That may involve working with a career service professional to develop your plan, or maybe getting help from a resource in the community, like a workforce development office, or help from churches and community organizations that offer assistance, or even going back to your college or university’s career service office. Having assistance in developing a plan is going to help you be a lot more methodical about working that plan. Consequently, you’re going to be a lot less desperate and you won’t necessarily chase opportunities or respond to unsolicited opportunities. You’re more likely to be scammed by things that come into your e-mail inbox than things that you’re pursuing through, for example, networking or LinkedIn.

Also be mindful of the information you share on social media. Using sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be beneficial in your job search, but they can also make you the target of scammers. A lot of the information you put on social media related to your job search is public, and if you put out the word that you need a job fast, it will make you a bigger target. Again, use social media proactively as part of a targeted plan for pursuing the job that you want.

For additional information please visit ONB Professional Resumes.

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