How to Tell if a Job Email is a Scam

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How can you tell if an email message regarding a job is a scam? It can be hard to differentiate between fake jobs and legitimate employment related email messages. However, many job scams will send you an email saying that you got the job before ever meeting with you in person.

Occasionally, the "employer" will speak to you briefly on the phone, but most of your contact with the "company" will be via email.

The "company" typically will ask you to forward or wire money from a personal account to another account.

Be cautious whenever a company requests you to handle money for them; no legitimate employer will ask you to transfer money or pay to get hired.

Types of Email Job Scams

Some job scams do not even use job search websites; instead, they send emails directly to individual email addresses. You may receive an email offering you a job; the email is often from a Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, or Hotmail account, although scammers occasionally use a fake company domain name.

Once again, these unsolicited job offers are not legitimate; no company will offer you a job without even knowing who you are.

Other email scams use a technique called "spoofing". They send you an email containing a link to a posting that appears to come from a legitimate job search site, but it is in fact fraudulent.

How to Tell if a Job Email is a Scam

Here is an example of a typical work at home job scam that I received via email.

The unsolicited job posting email message came with a CareerBuilder logo and said I received it because my resume was on CareerBuilder (it's not).

The reply address is a Gmail email address and the message wasn't addressed to me. When I hit reply, I discovered it had been sent to an email address I have never used for job searching.

The message says to reply to the email to get more information and an application.

All of the above are red flags. It was an unsolicited email message - I hadn't applied for the job or posted my resume. The message wasn't addressed to me and the return address was a personal email address, not a company one. When I Googled the company name the top results were all on scam warning sites. In addition, processing payments is a typical scam designed to collect your bank account information.

Simply put, do not respond to job offers that ask you to wire money, cash checks, submit your credit card information, pay for a credit report, or do any other transactions that require a fee to get hired.

Read More: Top 10 Scam Warning Signs

Work at Home Email Job Scam Example

Dear,

[Company Name] company was established in 20XX by an international team of financial and marketing experts. We specialize in delivering positive business results through solving currency exchange problem as well as online payments and transactions, their tools being innovative solutions, high performance and e-commerce optimization techniques.

We offer a "work at home" part-time position "Regional Manager". This includes processing payments between our partners' clients and our company, ensure all personal data relating to customers is maintained, accurate and kept discreet, identifying opportunities to improve service delivery.

Position Type: Permanent. Working hours: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM weekdays. Variable overtime is also required Occupation Type: part-time (1-5 hours a day occupation). Salary: $40 per hour.

Professional qualities and skills:
Scrupulous and diligent;
Computer literate;
Good organizational and administrative skills;
Payment procedures prior experience would be an asset;
Ability to work independently.

Please REPLY to this email to receive further information and application forms.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Hugley,
HR Manager,
[Company Name]

More Information on Job Scams

Avoiding Job Scams
How to tell if a job is a scam, typical employment scams, work at home scams, and how to avoid scams.

How to Report a Scam
Have you been scammed or almost scammed? Here's information on how to report a scam, including where and how to report an employment scam.

Scam Warning Signs
What's a scam and what's not? It can be really difficult to tell the difference between scams and legitimate job openings, especially when it comes to work at home jobs. Here are scam warning signs to watch for and how to spot a scam.