(7/6/2010) A job posting from a company or placement firm that guarantees you employment for a fee can seem like a beacon of hope in a bleak economy. But it could lead you straight into a scam.
If you're searching for a job, use this advice from the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to recognize and avoid job scams that can cause you serious financial trouble:
- If a company asks you to pay an application fee, or charges you for "necessary" placement expenses, like certification, training materials, or background checks, don't take the bait. Legitimate firms don't ask job seekers to pay for a position. If you hand over any money, it's going right into the scammer's pocket — and your chances of getting it back are low.
- Some firms may lead you to believe that they have jobs available, when they are only selling information about finding a job. Even worse, the information they sell usually can be found for free. Read ads and listings carefully, and ask questions to determine the type of service actually being offered.
- Scammers pose as legitimate companies. They send out e-mails about so-called job opportunities, and ask for information like your Social Security or financial account numbers. Do not provide any sensitive information or click on any e-mail links before investigating the company first.
- When in doubt, do some research. Check with the BBB, your state attorney general's office, or your local consumer protection agency before doing business with a company.
By dodging job scams, you'll get closer to finding the real job that's right for you.
Copyright 2010 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. All other rights reserved.