Skip to Content
job scams
© Ramirezom |

Got a job offer that seems too good to be true? Signs it’s a scam

When times are tough, people often look for side gigs to supplement their income. There are plenty of jobs that you can do from home, but you must be careful which ones you sign up for. When it might seem like a good deal to make some quick cash, it could be a scam.

Going through online job boards, a red flag should go up if you spot a high-paying job that requires minimal training, effort or resources. If it were that easy to make a lot of money, everybody would do it.

Read on for signs that a job posting could be a scam and what you can do about it.

Job offer scams to watch out for

Legitimate job-hunting sites can be an invaluable source to make extra income. But when you start casting your net a bit further, it can become tricky to spot an authentic posting from a scam.

According to a post in the “You Should Know” subreddit, one of the most common scams people fall for is the “vendor/supplier” scam. The job claims to pay a lucrative salary, and you only have to buy supplies with a company check and then mail the goods to a different company.

But here’s how the scam works: The company you supposedly work for and the receiver of the goods are usually the same. Also, the check they mailed you for the purchase of the supplies is often stolen or fraudulent.

When discovered, your bank will take the money from your account. “At that point, you’ll be on the hook for whatever you sent to the vendors for supplies – the vendors will have been the same scammers who hired you,” the post explains

How to safely find work online

In a variation to the job scam, the “hiring” company sends you the supplies and only requires that you mail them to a different “company.” This would make you a parcel mule if the goods are illegal, and the police will come knocking on your door while the criminals go free.

Here are some ways to stay safe while looking for a job online:

  • Only use reputable websites when looking for a job. Most posts and associated companies are vetted for authenticity and will pay a market-related salary.
  • Be cautious of job postings that seem too good to be true. More people would be doing it if it pays well for little effort. There is a reason why these recruiters use shady or unconventional platforms for advertising positions.
  • Never agree to a job involving buying items with a “company” check and then mailing it to a secondary company. That isn’t how a supply or logistics company or product vendor works.
  • It’s a red flag if the job interview is only conducted over the phone or through text. Step away if the recruiter doesn’t want to meet or can’t interview over a video call.
  • Never give out personal information over the phone or email if you don’t know or trust the caller. 

Keep reading

Want a fun side job? Five off-the-wall ways to make money online

10 careers with the best (and worst) job security in 2023

Stop robocalls once and for all

Robocalls are not only annoying, but they scam Americans out of millions every year. Learn Kim's tricks for stopping them for good in this handy guide.

Get the eBook