Beware of Job Scams

By TERRA Staffing Group

Posted on March 29, 2024

Image of a job scam on a computer.

Disclaimer: We at TERRA Staffing Group are seeing an increase in job scams. If you have any doubts about a specific job posting or someone claiming to represent us, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and ask.

Job seekers should be on high alert to avoid becoming a victim of employment scams. 

Job scams are a real threat. According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2023, there were approximately 100,000 reported cases of job scams, and Americans lost about $500 million in total.  

And the risk of falling victim to a scam only continues to rise as job scams become more sophisticated. 

So, what exactly is an employment scam?

A job scam is when a job seeker believes that they are applying to, or have been hired for, a job, but there is, in fact, no job available. 

To make matters worse, these job applicants have usually provided some type of sensitive, personal information, which is exactly what the scammers are looking for: personal information that they can use to steal your money or your identity—or both.  

Protect yourself against job scams by familiarizing yourself with some of the red flags and learn what you can do to avoid falling victim to them while looking for a job. 

Job Scam Warning Signs

A job seems too good to be true.

There’s an old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” This is especially true when it comes to some job ads. 

If a job seems to be offering a lot more money than that particular job or industry normally pays, an eye-raising amount of flexibility, or they are offering surprisingly lucrative perks, it may be fake. 

The job posting is vague.

Real job ads should provide plenty of details: a general idea of what the company does, what the position is and what skills are required for the role. 

If the job posting doesn’t contain much content or is unclear or confusing, it’s probably not a real employment opportunity. 

You’re asked for sensitive, private information.

Recruiters want to put their best foot forward when reaching out to potential job seekers because they want to make a positive impression. Typically, that means their messages are thoughtfully crafted and error-free.  

If a message from a recruiter is riddled with spelling and grammar errors or uses unstructured sentences that look odd, it may be a sign of a job scam.  

You only interact via written communication. 

When an employer wants to interview you, they will schedule a phone call or meet with you in person or over video conference. Employers typically want to talk with you to get to know you and gain a better understanding of your skills. 

Any potential employer who avoids some type of “real” interaction and insists on written communication can be an indicator that they aren’t being honest or that they are trying to hide their real identity. 

You’re pressured to act fast. 

If the recruiter or hiring manager seems eager to rush you to a decision, be wary.  

It’s common for employers to give you some time to consider a job offer before accepting. After all, saying yes to a job can be a life-changing decision.  

Someone who is rushing you to act quickly may be a scammer who does not want you to pause and take a moment to think about the opportunity.  

You’re offered a job without an interview. 

Most job opportunities require an interview in order to verify qualifications and assess fit. 

Recruiters and hiring managers want to ensure that they are hiring someone with the skills to do the job and are the right fit for the organization.  

And you should also be given a chance to see if the employer and company are right for you. 

If a skilled or “too-good-to-be-true” job does not require an interview it may be scam.  

Common Job Scams 

There are a variety of job scams out there, unfortunately. And given how easy it is for scammers to hide behind the anonymity of the internet, it can be challenging for job seekers to verify a job’s legitimacy. 

But we’re going to show you how to spot them, so you can avoid getting scammed. 

Here are some of the more common job scams to be on the lookout for. 

Fake job postings. 

While you may come across job scams when searching for jobs online, many scammers are shifting to social media to target potential victims. 

This includes Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram, and even LinkedIn. 

Some jobs may seem to be posted by legitimate businesses and well-known employers, but the jobs themselves are not. 

Social platforms do their best to try to vet content and remove fake job postings, but they’re not able to catch them all. 

Here’s an example of a fake Facebook job posting. In this case, the scammer is pretending to be TERRA Staffing Group. 


Fraudulent TERRA Job Posting

Fake recruiters.

One of the ways job scams will try to collect your personal information is by posing as a recruiter on social media. Often, they will use a company logo or name to pretend to be that employer or create fake profiles posing as recruiters for that organization.  

Be particularly cautious if a recruiter is trying to move your conversation onto a different platform from the one you’re using, such as WhatsApp.  

This is likely to be a fake recruiter who is trying to avoid having their fake social media profile reported. 

Work-from-home jobs. 

Many job scams are taking advantage of the work-from-home model that has become more popular in recent years.  

Be on the lookout for these common work-from-home job scams: data entry, envelope-stuffing, and reshipping positions.  

Nanny, caregivers or personal assistant jobs.  

Any job posting that advertises a nanny, caregiver or virtual assistant position that requires little to no experience may be a job scam. 

These positions may appear to come from someone within your community or nearby university.  

Beware of any nanny or caregiver positions where the family is relocating, out of town or provides an excuse within the job posting that would explain why they cannot meet with you in person before accepting the job offer.  

How to Avoid Falling for a Job Scam

Do your research!

Before applying for a job, verify that it is a legitimate opportunity. 

Research the company. Check out their website, read online reviews, see if the job you are interested in is also listed on their website. And research the interviewer or your point of contact for the opportunity, at a minimum they should have a professional LinkedIn profile. 

Real companies should have public contact information easily available, so don’t hesitate to find their phone number or email address and contact them. Be sure to use the contact information on their website, not the one listed in the job posting. 

Let them know about the job opportunity you found—and confirm that the job is legit. 

Never send money or share personal information.

No legitimate company should ever ask you for money to apply for a job or start a job. If you find yourself in a position where an “employer” is asking you to do this, walk away. 

Similarly, you should never have to share highly confidential information, like your social security number or bank account when applying for a job. 

The most you should be asked for is your contact information, such as phone number and email. 

Remember, scammers are often trying to steal your identity or your money. So be particularly careful with the information you do share. 

Verify email address authenticity. 

Many job scammers will use a fake email address that looks like a company email.  

For example, they may use an email address domain that is altered by similar-looking upper or lower-case letters, such as which uses a lower-case “L” in “Staffing” as opposed to a lower-case “i”. 

Typically, legitimate employees with a company email will have an email address domain that matches the company name, such as, as opposed to 

Get a second opinion 

If you’re unsure whether a job opportunity is a scam, describe the opportunity to someone you know and trust—a friend, family member or close colleague. 

Explain the things you believe to be red flags. They may help you evaluate the job more carefully and make a more informed decision.  

And they may notice other red flags about the job that you didn’t consider.  

Trust your gut.

There’s a lot to be said for intuition.

  • Does the job seem realistic – in pay, benefits, etc.?
  • Is the recruiter profile newly created?
  • Are they asking you to download an app or click a link?

If you have any doubts at all about the legitimacy of a job posting, listen to yourself. 

This doesn’t guarantee that the job is fake. It just means that you should proceed with caution. Don’t rush into applying. 

Give yourself the time to do the research. And remember that it is totally within your right to ask questions. 

Job searching can be stressful enough without having to worry about employment scams. 

Protect yourself during your job search by being careful and paying attention to the warning signs. 

If you see a job scam or have been a victim of a job scam, you can report it to the Federal Trade Commission at  

Partner with Us

TERRA Staffing Group has offices across the U.S. and we work with many employers across a variety of industries. 

To see some of the jobs we offer, check out our current job openings. And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, call us! New jobs become available daily. 


TERRA will never ask you to disclose highly personal information before discussing potential employment opportunities with you. Nor will we ask you for money or to download an app to apply to any of our jobs. 

If you see a job posting listed by us, and want to know more about the job, or even just want to confirm the legitimacy of the job, don’t hesitate to contact us. 

We want to make sure that you feel confident about any job opportunities we share – and want to make sure we are doing our part to keep you safe from any scammer posing as us. 

(Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2021 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.) 

Categories: Career Tips

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