Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Searching For Jobs on Craigslist? Avoid These 5 Red Flags.

Craigslist was not developed as a job search website; its job listings contain both pros and cons. On one hand, small business owners and startups appreciate Craigslist because it’s a free, simple way to list their open jobs. On the other hand, scammers worship Craigslist because there’s no oversight aside from community moderation, so as long as no individuals flag their scam job listings, they can target on unsuspecting job seekers.

Are you able to find legitimate jobs on Craigslist? Yes. But you’ve got to know how to spot the red flags so that you can sort the good from the bad. The following are five red flags to watch out for.

1. No Company Name: It’s extremely common on Craigslist to find jobs that don’t provide the company name, simply because Craigslist doesn’t require a business to include their name. In fact, they make it very easy for employers to post anonymously, so many do. This helps prevent job-seekers from doing research on the company they’re applying to, and limits your capability to find out whether the company is one that you’d want to work for and whether it’s a scam.

2. No Unique E-mail: Many job postings request that you respond to one of Craigslist’s automatically generated anonymous e-mails (for example, “c4fvg-3372107@job .craigslist .org”), which unfortunately makes sure that you have zero idea whom you are actually sending your resume to. Even if there is a business name in the posting, many con artists will use an anonymous Craigslist email, so that you think you’re applying to the company they mentioned despite the fact that you’re not.

It is ideal to see an email tied to the company’s domain name, such as jsmith@company .com, so that you can research the company’s domain name to make sure it’s genuine. To see what you’re dealing with, do a Google search for the company name and check out their real website to see if the same job is listed.

3. Jobs with “No Skills Required" : Due to the fact the form to post a job on Craigslist is so simple and “free form ,” with no established fields requiring job details , quite a few employers keep things really brief . That could be just unfortunate, or it could be because the “employer” is not really an employer at all, and that they’re primary objective is to get contact information from as many people as possible for scam purposes.

4. Check Cashing and Wire Transfers : One of the most common job scams on Craigslist are "mystery shopping" jobs in which companies request to send job seekers large checks ( $2 ,000 for example ) which can be deposited into their standard bank accounts . It seems easy enough — the job seeker gets to keep a portion of the check as long as they wire the remaining funds back to the organization through Western Union.

But the checks are invariably counterfeit, and once the bank comes across the error, the job seeker is out $2, 000 and the scam company walks away with the wired funds from the employment seeker's bank account.

5. Requesting Personal Information: Some job frauds are simply phishing for personal data, either to steal job seekers' identities or gain access to their banking or credit card information. If you're trying to find jobs on Craigslist, never give out personal information like bank account numbers, social security numbers or maybe even your home address. Provide only your email address as well as telephone number as contact information on your resume.

While job searching on Craigslist or any job search site that doesn’t pre-screen its listings to eliminate scams, the golden rule is to trust your instincts. If a job just doesn’t seem right, whether it has one red flag or 10, don’t apply to it.

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