Job seekers, beware of scammers out to defraud victims at your most vulnerable.

Watch for some common warning signs that a job posting may be a scam:

  • The job description is vague
  • The pay seems too high for the position
  • The ad directs you to a non-business email address
  • The poster uses text messaging to contact or interview you
  • The posting sponsor asks you to cash a check, purchase a gift card or wire money
  • The sponsor asks for personal information such as your Social Security number

Before applying to a job online, check out the Careers page of the hiring company’s website. If you are still suspicious that a job posting may not be legitimate, look up the company’s contact information and call the company in question. It’s also a best practice to apply to jobs through a company’s website rather than a link sent to you or posted elsewhere.

If you see a scam or are a victim of one, you can do a few things to protect yourself and others.

  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC also provides templates of letters to send to your credit reporting company.
  • If you were contacted on social media by a potential scammer, report the user to the website where the fake listing was posted.
  • If you paid a scammer, alert the company through which you made the payment to attempt to trace, block or potentially recoup funds.
  • If you’ve given out other personal information by accident, you may want to place a freeze on your credit reports from each major company — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian– to prevent other accounts from being opened in your name. Also check your bank and credit card statements for any fraudulent purchases and report them right away.

By taking the time to research a company and its hiring practices, you’ll know right away whether a job posting is from a legitimate employer so you can avoid becoming a victim.

This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Neither The Cincinnati Insurance Company nor its affiliates or representatives offer tax or legal advice. Consult with your tax adviser or attorney about your specific situation. Contact Landmark Risk Management & Insurance for coverage advice and policy service.