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How to Sniff Out Professional Scammers

I’ve got an offer that you can refuse…but you should because if it’s too good to be true it probably is. Desperation is the bread and butter of scammers and scams are everywhere from the oft parodied “Nigerian Prince” scheme to the more subtle motivational speakers offering multi-day “excursions” to tap into the “Spiritual Warrior” which cost the lucky ones $10.000 and heat exhaustion and other less fortunate people their lives. But how can you discern the job scam from the person that just has a crappy business pitch? Well, worry not I’m here to make you a crack scam sniffer! Here’s how to sniff out a professional scammer.

1. The Same Old Story

Although I impressively used two old and tired clichés in the intro, I reiterate: if it’s too good to be true it most probably is. If you’re a straight out of college grad and someone offers you an amazing salary with an even more amazing remuneration package, a signing bonus and relocation reimbursement (and it’s not Google) tread on the cautious side of things. Use your experience to discern if the offer is too good, after scrolling through hundreds if not thousands of job posting, I’m sure you have a rough idea of what to expect salary wise from entry level jobs, or any jobs as a matter of fact.

2. For A Low Up Front Fee!

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Another red flag is if the potential job that you’re applying for asks for a low upfront fee to either promote your CV/resume or to contact employers on your behalf. Generally recruiters get paid by the employer a percentage of the applicant’s salary. Allow me to simplify: if you are hired through a recruiter, the company hiring you will pay the recruiter, not you. So it’s immediately evident that someone asking you for money is either: double dipping (as in charging both you and your potential employer) or is just charging you. The most likely and often used scheme is the second one; people desperate for a job will pay scammers (from their already limited resources) to get their foot in the door, and scammers of course will do nothing with the candidate’s information. Because humanity is a horrible, terrifying species it gets worse: some scam-recruiters gather and sell off the candidates’ personal information (which could also include social security or social insurance numbers) for profit.

3. The Legal Scam

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Head Hunters or more politely known as “Recruiters” as I mentioned above, are people that get paid to fill their clients’ job openings. Although the majority of recruiters are stand-up, ethical and professional individuals, some are a little more unscrupulous. The will modify job description so that the job-applicant can’t contact the employer directly, misrepresent the job requirements and in the most extreme cases modify the job-searchers resume/CV or promise things that will not be delivered by their client even having the job applicant sign paperwork which includes a contract binding the employee to the recruiter, meaning that in any job the applicant gets his potential employer will have to pay a recruitment fee. You can see how something like that can hurt your job opportunities right?

See Also: 10 Most Horrifying Scams

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