Searching for a job online has become the norm for many job seekers and there are many legitimate online employment websites such as, and, however, merely because an ad for a job appears on a legitimate website does not mean that the job is for real.  It may be just a scam seeking either personal information to make you a victim of identity theft, your money or both.  Although, Career, and other online employment agencies do their best to screen their ads, they can’t come even close to being perfect.

Scammers will often do research on their victims and read their resumes sent in response to a phony ad.  They then contact the victim and offer him or her a job, but tell  the victim that he or she will need to purchase some equipment and pay a fee for training.  A check is sent to the victim to pay for the equipment.  The unwary victim deposits the counterfeit check, gets provisional credit from his or her bank and then following instructions from the scammer, wires the money for the training fee or equipment to the scammer before the check is discovered to be counterfeit which can take weeks.  At this point the funds are taken back by the bank from the victim’s account, but the money wired to the scammer is lost forever.

In another employment scam variation, being reported by the BBB, you get  a text message indicating that a company wants to hire you and send you a contract asking for personal information such as your birthdate. Social Security number and banking information which they tell you is needed in order to send your wages to you by direct deposit.  Unfortunately, the information you provide can lead to your identity being stolen.


Never spend money to apply for a job.  Legitimate employers do not require fees.  Google the address, telephone number and name of the company to see if it matches what you have been told.  Don’t send a resume with personal information, such as your Social Security number that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  If an ad appears to be from a company that you know is legitimate, confirm by a telephone call to the real company’s HR department that the ad you are answering is legitimate.  A legitimate company will eventually need your Social Security number, but not early in the process.  Make sure that you have confirmed that the job is legitimate before providing this information.  Additionally, no legitimate employer will ever send you a check for more than what you are owed and ask you to send back the difference.  That is the basis of many scams.

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