Craigslist

Craigslist Job

How to Spot a Fraudulent Job on Craigslist

By Nellie Day, eHow Contributor Craigslist can be a great job resource; just use discretion.

Craigslist JobCraigslist can be a great website to use for a job search, and because it reaches so many people in so many cities, countries and continents, the job possibilities may seem endless. However, like many jobs, some are just too good to be true. Because Craigslist offers such anonymity, it's easy for people to create fraudulent accounts or promise people great job offers with great pay and then fail to deliver. So, use caution when job searching on Craiglist, for although it can be a great career search engine, some postings may take you for a ride.

Instructions

  • 1. Look at the job posting's title. See if anything screams "too good to be true." Postings that are written in all capital letters or use excessive exclamation marks can be red flags. Claims that you can become an instant millionaire or earn thousands of dollars a month just by working from home can also signal fraud.

  • 2. Click on the ad and read its content. A lack of information is an immediate tip-off that the ad may be a fraudelent posting. Ads that simply ask you to e-mail them if you want to make tons of money for little work are usually scams. Once you e-mail many of these types of ads you will receive an e-mail about a pyramid scam, wealthy Nigerian banker who needs your help or a dying man who wants to leave his fortune to you, all of which are fraudulent ads that play on people's emotions, naiveté and desire to get rich quick.

  • 3. Check what qualifications are needed for the open position. If someone is advertising that they're looking to fill a high-level position, such as executive vice president, editor-in-chief or various other executive- and management-level positions, they should require a degree of skill. Most of us start out at the bottom of a given field and work our way up, as promotions are usually requisite with experience and education. If someone is trying to fill an upper-level position that requires little to no experience or qualifications, that may be a fraudulent ad.

  • 4. Look for any information on the actual company. Though a portion of legitimate Craigslist ads don't list pertinent company information, as they wish to remain anonymous, it can be a sign that an ad is fraudulent. Look at the e-mail address that you are supposed to respond to. If a non-generic e-mail address is provided (anything aside from @craigslist.org, @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com, etc.) you may want to type that name into a search engine to see if a company comes up.

  • 5. Contact the ad poster if you feel that you've found a job that you really want to apply for but are not sure whether it is legitimate. You could simply say that you're looking for more information on the open position and/or company. You could also ask for the human resource contact's name in order to ensure that you address your cover letter to the right person. If the ad poster fails to respond, this could be a potentially fraudulent posting.

  • 6. Check with the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) if you are able to obtain any information on the company or poster. You can also run a Google search to see if any complaints, negative press or other controversial material arises about the company. Be sure to also visit the company's website. Most company websites have a few pertinent pieces of information listed, including what they do, what areas they service, examples of their services or clients and contact information. Fraudulent websites will not typically take the time to insert all of this information.

  • 7. Check the Craiglist boards every few days or so. Users, as well as Craigslist staffers, remove, flag and place warnings on ads that are suspected of being fake. If you suspect or discover that a job posting may be fake, report it to Craigslist at abuse@craigslist.org and the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at ic3.gov.

Tips & Warnings

  • If a job poster wants to set up an interview with you, be sure you meet them at their office, in an office building that actually exists. Get the business' name and location. Plug this into Google Maps (googlemaps.com) to ensure that the addresses traces back to an actual occupied office building. Never meet anyone in a private residence. If the poster works from home, offer to meet him at a coffee shop that is conveniently located. Leave his contact information and your location with someone, and if you can, get there early so you can scope out the location before you sit down for the meeting. Just because a posting exhibits one or more of the above-mentioned characteristics does not necessarily mean that it is definitely fake. You have to consider the ad as a whole, do your due diligence and try to contact the company or poster.

  • E-mail responses that ask for your credit card number, Social Security Number or mention credit union or wire transfers are scams and should never be responded to.

[[blockquote style="border: 0px; overflow:auto; width:100%; margin:0; padding:0;"]]

Nellie Day

Nellie Day is a freelance writer based out of Hermosa Beach, Calif. Her work can regularly be seen on newsstands, where her specialties include weddings, real estate, food and wine, pets, electronics, architecture and design, business and travel. Day earned a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California.

[[/blockquote]]

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