Scams take many shapes and forms, such as phone calls, letters and emails. Many impersonators use alluring job offers to entice people into supplying personal information. Scammers advertise jobs the same way legitimate employers do — online (in ads, on job sites, and social media), in newspapers, and sometimes on TV and radio. They promise you a job or offer of employment, but what they want is your money and your personal information. For a comprehensive listing of recent scams and consumer alerts, visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/job-scams.
While many staffing agencies, temporary agencies, headhunters, and other placement firms are legitimate, scammers lie about what they will do for you, promote outdated or fake job openings, and charge fees for so-called services. Legitimate placement firms do not typically charge a fee. Instead, the hiring company pays them a fee to find qualified candidates. If a placement firm asks you for a fee, walk away. You could be dealing with a scam.
Before you accept a job offer, and certainly before you pay for one, take these steps to protect yourself from job scams:
- Do an online search. Look up the name of the company or the person who’s hiring you, plus the words “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” You might find out they’ve scammed other people.
- Talk to someone you trust. Describe the offer to them. What do they think? This also helps give you vital time to think about the offer.
- Don't pay for the promise of a job. Legitimate employers, including the federal government, will never ask you to pay to get a job. Anyone who does is a scammer.
- Never bank on a “cleared” check. No legitimate potential employer will ever send you a check and then tell you to send on part of the money, or buy gift cards with it. That’s a fake check scam. The check will bounce, and the bank will want you to repay the amount of the fake check.
You can access NFP’s career directory here to submit your information securely. Joining our Talent Network allows us to follow up and provide additional information to you regarding current and future job opportunities. You may hear from an NFP professional directly or via email after you have submitted your information, or through a legitimate recruiting firm employed by NFP. If you are contacted by a recruiter and want to confirm the legitimacy of the call or email, please contact email@example.com.