Archive for September 2010

Job scams

September 9, 2010

Looking for a job is hard enough these days without being taken by some shady people just looking to take your identity.

But that’s how it is in the Wild West, isn’t it? You just have to be real careful about who you are giving that sensitive information to.

But it’s not easy is it? Especially if you’ve been out of work for a long period of time. Then one day you check your email and there is someone who is offering you a job, probably a really good one. What do you do? Not jump on it?

Nope.

Of course you’re going to be excited. Of course you’re going to shout and dance around your room. You need money, and the economy is less than generous these days. In your excitement though, you forget to actually look at the email. You forget to notice certain things about what is written. You forget that maybe, in our particular economic climate, there may be people out there posing as companies just to get your information.

It’s not really a stretch of the imagination, is it? It’s easy enough in a climate of desperation. That’s gold mine territory for scammers.

So what I thought I’d do here is point out some of the more obvious things I’ve noticed along the way that scammers do, but people who are too excited to notice, may neglect.

As with any advise from anyone you read on the internet, please remember to exercise common sense and think about what is being asked of you. Think about how realistic the offer is, and what hoops you are being asked to jump through. A blood sample and ex girlfriend/boyfriends reference of you is a clear signature that this isn’t right. I only write this article because the things I’ve personally seen and been in contact with. This is by no means a full list of every scam out there today. Please use common sense when reading this, and use common sense when accepting anything over the internet. It is still virtual and people can still claim anything they want on it.

In no particular order:

+ the tiny url:
If you get an email from a small mom and pop company, and they need you to fill out an application on their website and the link reads http://www.tinyurl.com/website (website being another name), this is a scammer. No reputable company out there will be using tiny url. Why? Because companies pay for their websites, therefore they prefer to use their own websites. So the url will have something about the company name in it, definitely NOT tinyurl. http://www.comcast.com or http://www.directtv.com or something. They want to make it obvious that the website is for their company. Scammers count on you being too excited and overlooking these small details. It’s even happened to me, that’s why I’m posting it here.

+ Any company that requires sensitive information from you, better have a secured website. Meaning that in the lower right hand corner of your web browser (all web browsers have this) there will be a privacy lock. This is an indication that the company has at least taken some measures to encrypt the sensitive information that will be floating through the internet. If you see no such lock or indication, I would personally not bother with the offer. That’s just me though. But all of the reputable companies I’ve dealt with have this. They pay for web certificates and keep them up to date. Once again, they wish to remain reputable, and these are just issues of trust. It’s not difficult for a company of any kind to purchase and keep up web certificates, so they better have them. If they don’t, there is not reported security on the website, meaning your information could be okay, or could be going elsewhere.

+ My favorite. The rush jobs. Hearing about super opportunities that must get processed immediately. They need all of your sensitive information today and will be hiring you on the spot tomorrow. This one is pretty obvious to me, but the way you can tell this is a scam is usually they want all your information in an email. I don’t know any company who is reputable that wants Social Security numbers and the like in an email. Simply because emails are the most unsecured way of transportation. Normally companies need a resume first, then an application filled out, followed by an interview, and perhaps a seconds interview. That’s the norm. I’m not saying there will not be a rush, but the information normally follows a standard procedure, the one noted above. Be careful who you give that sensitive information to, ID theft is real people!

+ Phone verification. This is one I’ve run into recently.  I can’t remember any company checking up on you based on phone records. I don’t know the deal with that scam, but it is a scam. I was very happy to aviod it. Online applications shouldn’t ask you off the wall things like phone verification. It sounded shady to me at first, and then I found out it was in fact a scam. So remember to avoid that.

+ Investors scam. They offer you a great job, problem is you must invest in their operation. Soon you find out it’s a pyramid scheme. They are really sappy salespeople, like used car salespeople. They tell you they have a wonderful opportunity for you. When you arrive to hear about the job, they instead lecture you on how you could be doing in life, and with a small fee towards them, you could be managing lots of people. Yes, they even throw in cars and houses in the pitch as well. Stay away from too good to be true schemes.

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