“Earn $70,000 a year by working only for 15 hours a week”. Sounds familiar?
I recently came across a job listing like this on a reputed employment website. While this is an obvious fake job posting, scammers today have learned to be a little more discreet by managing to infiltrate trustworthy websites like Indeed. Fake job postings on Indeed can be harder to identify than you think.
Whether you´re currently an active job seeker or are already employed, you probably have used Indeed at least once in your life. With the amount of trust the website has built among its users over time, spotting scams has become difficult. Indeed scams usually bait remote workers with professionally made websites and the lure of big money.
Remember, every buck earned is a sacrifice in some way. So if you’re promised money that is too good to be true, it probably is. But before you scroll through this post to read ways to spot fake job postings on Indeed, we’ll first see what the common types of scams are- because you can only see what you know.
4 Common Types of Fake Job Posting
There are primarily 4 types of WFH job scams
1. Pyramid Schemes
These job postings need you to pay up some fees as registration fees. Once you’re hired, you are asked to recruit more people under you. For every person you recruit, you get a commission out of their registration fee. Soon you start earning only by recruiting people and not by any real work.
These scams usually involve sending emails for money, stuffing envelopes, or even reaching out to job seekers on Indeed. Before you know it, you’re part of a crumbling pyramid.
2. Identity Theft
These scams intend to steal your financial or personal information. They have elaborately made websites or web pages to lure you into entering your credit card and account details.
Identity theft can also happen by baiting you through unsolicited links via personalized emails or orchestrated cyber attacks. So, double-check the website and the company you’re applying to. And remember, no company wants your credit card details even when you’re recruited.
3. Money Laundering
Some Indeed scams pose as a well-established company/ individual and ask you to accept a sum of money to your account and transfer it to another account. In return, you get a cut out of the original amount. By using your account, they’re making you part of their long money trail. Next thing you know, you’re drawn into a long-drawn legal battle.
4. False Service
Many scammers pose as career advisors. They offer to improve your resume, cover letter, or your speaking skills in return for a lot of money. These scammers are particularly hard to spot because they disguise themselves as professionals. It’s only when you sign up for their courses that you realize how they didn’t add any value. Furthermore, you wouldn’t even know if you’ve been scammed.
5 Ways To Identify Fake Job Postings on Indeed
Identifying fake Job postings is not as easy as you think. Here are 5 red flags to look out for.
1. The Company has Unprofessional Behavior
An easy way to distinguish a real job posting from a fake one is through their emails and calls. Even bootstrapped startups have trained professionals to handle their emails and communications. They have well-written emails, timed and informed calls, and others. A fake company, on the other hand, may have shabbily drafted emails and unnecessary calls, often having a coercive overtone.
They tend to create a sense of urgency to apply, or else you’d lose the opportunity. Remember that real employers are professional and often give you time to think through and let them know. They don’t pressurize or deal unprofessionally.
2. The Employer Demands Upfront Details
It’s a red flag if the employer insists on providing personal or financial information. A real employer or a company does not ask for your details until the recruitment process is completed. Even after your recruitment is complete, your employer would never ask for your credit card details or confidential personal information.
When you’re on the hunt for a job, remember that anyone who asks for details in the very first or second email probably doesn’t have good intentions.
Nevertheless, if you’ve done the background check for your employer well enough and the information they seek is harmless, then go ahead. But, always remember to do a background check.
3. The Employer Makes An Offer That Is Too Good To Be True
I’m not saying that legitimate companies don’t make offers that are hard to refuse. The difference is that legitimate employers give lucrative offers in return for real work. Fake employers, on the other hand, make lucrative offers for little or no real work.
In most cases, you’d be invited to what looks like a pyramid scheme. If it looks like one, and it feels like one, it probably is.
You get money for the service or the goods that you provide. That’s how the economy works. If you’re not providing any real service or goods, you’re probably in a system that will eventually crumble.
4. Recruiter Uses The Veneer Of A Popular Job Title
The rise in popularity of remote jobs like virtual assistants has made it convenient for fake recruiters to pose as entrepreneurs/ companies seeking virtual assistants. This is yet another way of drawing you into a pyramid scheme. Once you’re recruited, you’d be asked to send emails or make calls to prospective recruits in return for money.
Again, this is hard to spot, because of the veneer of a legitimate job title. Remember to do a thorough background check before you apply anywhere.
5. A Recruiter Contacts You And Offers You A Job
An employer would rarely contact you to offer a job just by looking at your profile on Indeed. It’s a red flag if s/he offers you the job without an interview or a test. Such scammers start by saying how impressed they are with your qualifications and experience. Then they offer you a job which might require you to pay a fee to register or send in personal details. These offers are often accompanied by hard-to-refuse compensations.
You might be the best in your craft, but remember that no legitimate employer will take you in without a formal interview or test.
Now that you’ve gained a fair understanding of how to identify an indeed scam, here are some pointers on how to verify a job offer.
How Do You Verify a Job Offer?
- Do a background check of the company. Check out their website and try figuring out their revenue stream. Most companies today have straightforward revenue streams which you can figure out by going through their about page. If you’ve any doubts, make sure to ask the recruiter by email.
- Find out about the founder and his previous experience. Most people today have a LinkedIn account.
- Try finding employees of the company or contact them on LinkedIn. Talk to them and understand how the company works.
So, with so many ways to scam and highly skilled scammers, can you trust Indeed?
Can Indeed Be Trusted?
The short answer is yes, Indeed is trustworthy.
Indeed acknowledges that scammers sometimes use its platform to post fake jobs. When fake jobs are posted, Indeed often flags them if found suspicious. It also brings out updates in its policies to combat the changing trend of scams.
Yet, there is every chance that some scams skip these safety barriers and still show up. In such cases, this blog post will come handy.