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4 Types of Job Search Scams

4 Types of Job Search Scams

At C4 Operations Background Checks security and privacy are a top priority. We will never ask for personal identifying information through text or social media.

All background check screenings at C4 Operations are FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) and PBSA (Professional Background Screening Association) compliant and all information necessary will be requested and/or submitted through a secure website link only.  We recommend checking that any link is secure, located in the URL location, before providing any information. We do not use texting, social media, or face-scanning for any verifications/screenings. Please contact our office at 888-519-6283 or 319-491-6300 if you have any concerns or are asked to provide information via a non-secure route. Thank you! 

The scammers are endlessly creative, so this is not everything, by any means.

1.  Fake Jobs on Social Media  

We spend so much time on social media it makes sense that scammers would use it to mess with people.

Look out for fake Facebook pages and make sure that you are on the correct business page before you submit anything.  

Linkedin has been hit with so many fake profiles that you really need to do your homework on who you really are talking with. LinkedIn does try to eliminate the fake profiles, and limit access (or remove the accounts) when someone with a real profile spreads junk inside of LinkedIn.

Scammers are using tiny URLs to mask the location of the real website.  Always check the URL or .com location to make sure that this is a legit website and belongs to the company you are wanting to do work with.

In most cases companies will have some sort of hiring process. You should never give your personal information or ID over in an email without knowing more about the business.  Most states mandate that hiring be done through FCRA compliant sites which offer secure transfer of your information.

2.  Fake Jobs Apparently from Legitimate Employers  

Scammers are building sites that look like the real site. These are called “Phishing sites” and they can be used to trick you into giving your information. The employer name is legitimate, the jobs are NOT because they are not actually from that employer.

In this scam, the real employer may not know anything about the posting. This scam abuses a legitimate employer’s identity.

I call this “corporate identity theft.” because the scammers have “stolen” a real company’s identity to use in this scam.

If a company asks you to send personal ID or Social Security information via an unsecure link, text message, or social media, you should ask to meet in person or ask for more information from that company.  Any transfer of your personal information should be handled with a secure website.  Look for the lock in the URL location and do your research. Your Identity is worth so much more.

3.  Emailed Job Offer Supposedly from an Employer, Recruiter, or Job Board.  

Scammers are finding your information on job sites and then sending you emails to grab your personal information.  

You may not remember ever applying (and, if it’s a scam, you likely didn’t). You get excited at the opportunity but be careful and check the resources before you move forward.

Your reply can be very professional but should not include any personal ID, banking or social security information. Ask about sending all your information through a secure site and not through email, email is not secure so even a real job offer can put your information at risk.  Some employers may need to collect personal information for a pre-employment background screening, complete your application, or give them the information they need to complete the process so they can bring you on board as a new employee. But this should never be given over social media or an email!

A real job may need this sensitive information like a copy of your driver’s license (which tells them your birthdate), your Social Security Number (to complete the paperwork to hire you), and/or your bank account number (for depositing those never-received paychecks).

Be very wary of an email from someone you don’t know, regardless of the logos and names visible in the email message.

Beware that Logos and names can be “borrowed” from websites. Check the email address. Since the From: email address may be “spoofed” with some email software.

Always check the email is coming from the business even before you move forward. Most legitimate businesses have emails like name@url.com . Their name and @the company name. Proceed with caution when dealing with @gmail, @yahoo or free email accounts.  It may be a small business that does not have their business emails set up as referenced but again you should do more research on the company or ask them to use a FCRA compliant company to send the information through.

 4. Text Or Message Job Offers

As we use social media more everyday there are more ways to be connected on the internet.  With text messaging a scammer can send out a quick text and put in any name or business and start the job offer.  The problem is there is no way to prove you are talking to the real business. Never give your personal ID or banking information over a text!

With Facebook, Instagram, and others they are offering their own messaging system which can also create confusion as you never know who the real person is behind the message. Don’t take private DMs from people offering jobs.  If it does not seem legit, it may not be! No job is worth having your ID stolen.

Best Practice

Until you have verified that the employer and job are legitimate, do NOT respond to the job posting or email!

Never provide the recruiter/employer or website with any information about you. Don’t register a resume or set up a profile, unless you know the opportunity is legitimate.

  • Do some checking to verify that the employer posted the job on the website in question by tracking down the employer’s phone number via Google, Superpages.com, or some other reputable web phone directory.
  • Call the place of business– using the number you have found in a legitimate directory, NOT the number in the email or job posting — to verify that they really did send the message. If the message looks real but is not from an email address associated with the employer’s domain name, ask the employer why and if it’s legitimate.


When you are in doubt about the authenticity of the employer, use a search engine to learn more about the employer.

  • If all you find are job postings, that’s a bad sign. Legitimate businesses do more than hire people. They also promote their products and/or services, so they can pay those employees. They usually post public contact information (address and phone numbers) so customers can find them.
  • Look for the business website which explains what they do and where they do it.

Read the Scam Jobs Sniff Test for more information.

Bottom Line


We all need to work and it’s exciting to think someone wants to pay you for your time, but identity theft can potentially destroy your bank account, credit rating, and much more that you think. Yes, it’s a tough job market, and being unemployed is very unpleasant. But being scammed is the last thing you want to happen.

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