The job service Monster.com recently sent me an email that hits a lot of these scam offers for employment right on the head. Let's read that email:
"If it looks too good to be true, it probably is." Whether you are searching for a new job through Monster or other websites, keep in mind that the same technological innovations that help in your job search may be used by cyber-criminals looking to lure job seekers into questionable job "opportunities."
Monster, the worldwide leader in the online recruitment industry, makes protecting job seekers a top priority. While Monster continually monitors its network and database to detect and terminate fraudulent access or job postings, keep in mind that Monster's primary purpose is to serve as an open forum for employers to advertise open positions and a service for job seekers to broadcast their qualifications to interested employers. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate parties (such as employers) have access, but neither we nor any other online recruitment company can guarantee that inappropriate parties will not gain access to a posted resume. Accordingly, we'd like to remind you of what you can do to help keep yourself safe during a job search.
Know What to Avoid
Some employment scams appear as job postings or classifieds while others may target victims with an offer through an unsolicited email. Below are the most common scams you may see:
Money launderers often create job descriptions that offer commissions or pay as high as $2000 per day to process checks on behalf of foreign nationals. They are recruiting local citizens to "process payments" or "transfer funds," because as foreign nationals, they can't do it themselves. The image below is an example of a money laundering scam hidden behind what appears to be an offer of employment.
Reshipping, or postal forwarding, scams typically require job seekers to receive stolen goods in their own homes-- frequently consumer electronics -- and then forward the packages, often outside the United States. Those who fall for reshipping scams may be liable for shipping charges and even the cost of goods purchased online with stolen credit cards. Read more about reshipping scams here. »
Pre-pay/Work at Home Scams
Although there are genuine jobs working at home, many "offers" are not valid forms of employment and may have the simple goal of obtaining an initial monetary investment from the victim. Using claims such as 'be your own boss' and 'make money quickly', Work at Home scams will not guarantee regular salaried employment and almost always require an "up-front" investment of money for products or instructions before explaining how the plan works. Find out more about avoiding these scams. »
What seems like a lucrative job offer could cost you your savings and more. Learn to identify the signals of an employment scam to protect yourself. When conducting a job search:
Look for signals in a job posting or email offer, which could serve as an indicator that what is being presented as employment is not legitimate. Don't get involved with an employer that can't make its business model perfectly clear to you or one that's willing to hire you without even a phone interview. Do your own research on any employer that makes you feel at all uneasy.
Never put your social security or national ID number, credit card number, bank account number or any type of sensitive personal identification data in your resume. You should never share any personal information with a prospective employer, even if they suggest that it is for a "routine background check", until you are confident that the employer and employment opportunity is legitimate. Use Monster's resume visibility options to 'Be Safe'.
Do not engage in any transaction in which you are requested to transfer or exchange currency or funds to a prospective employer. Remain alert for the Work at Home employers who require you to make an up-front investment.
Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
If you see a questionable job posting or suspect misuse of the Monster website or its brand, please report the suspected fraud to Monster.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, immediately report the fraud to your local police and contact Monster, so steps can be taken to ensure your safety. We also recommend that you file an online report with The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). For more information on how to conduct a safe job search, visit Monster's Security Center. You can also check out LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.com.
The Monster Team"
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