5 Signs a Job Post Might Be a Fake

5facts_July2013_webJob seeking can be an arduous task. No matter what your skill level or experience, the job search can be scary or frustrating. To make matters worse, web villains maliciously place fake job postings on commonly trafficked job sites to lure job seekers into multi-level marketing scams or to entice them to provide valuable personal information that could compromise one’s identity.

The potential to be scammed may seem intimidating, but don’t let the possibility of being duped deter you from seeking the job of your dreams. Spotting a scam can be easy with a little insight from someone who has been a victim so here are five signs to look out for.

  1. It sounds too good to be true.
    Job postings are supposed to sound enticing and be informative. But, if a posting makes big promises like high salary with “no experience necessary” or big starting bonuses for entry level positions, as the saying goes, “It might be too good to be true.” Starting salaries are based on the job’s pay range and the applicant’s skills and experience. Entry level jobs usually mean entry level pay.
  2. The job description is vague.
    If the job is poorly defined, this can be a sign that the position isn’t real. A fake posting might say things like B2B sales which could translate to door to door solicitation. A legitimate company knows what they are hiring for and exactly what the job entails. A clearly defined description can help a company narrow down the candidate pool by providing information the jobseeker will need to decide whether or not they are qualified. If you don’t feel like you have a good understanding of what the job is from the description, follow up with a question before applying.
  3. The job description has typos and grammatical errors.
    Job descriptions and postings are often written by hiring managers and HR personnel. As a representative of their organization, it is their responsibility to ensure that outgoing communication portrays the professionalism of the company. If a job description is littered with grammatical errors, you might think twice before applying.  Also look at the email address, if the email URL is not an organization’s website but something strange from a free email provider, use caution.
  4. The company asks for credit card information.
    A company should never need a credit card number to hire you and you should never pay for training unless the industry is regulated by the government and requires a license. Providing personal information can expose you to identity theft. So if the job posting has a form to fill out that doesn’t appear to be legitimate or asks for more than just simple contact information, be aware this could be a phishing scam.
  5. The company name is ambiguous or missing.
    If the post doesn’t contain a company name or has very little information, it might not exist. Always do research on a company before submitting your resume. A good way to find information is to type in the name of the company into a popular search engine and look for reviews from other job seekers. An important exception is staffing companies, the clients that use staffing companies often want to stay anonymous so the name may be withheld. However, the staffing company name and contact information should be verified as credible. In some contract and temporary positions you will work for and paid by the staffing company, making them the employer

Don’t let scammers get you down. Job seeking may seem like a lot of work but a safe job search can be simple by just being cautious. If you have a bad feeling, trust your gut.
Have you been a victim of a job scam? Let us know in the comment section below.


  1. Tracy

    I’d say #5 is completely false. Depending on what kind of job you’re looking for and where the ad is posted, many companies don’t post their name because they don’t want people calling or showing up on their doorstep. They also don’t want agencies soliciting them. #3 is hit or miss. I find that many people who get tasked with posting the job description are not good at spelling or grammar. I sometimes think that the company placing the ad is looking to hire the person who CAN spell and would be placing the ads!

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