If we had a dollar for every fake job opening/vacancy email we’ve seen…
It saddens us that scammers try to prey upon people who may be out of work and looking for a job. It’s stressful enough trying to search for work!
We can say absolutely, and without exception, any job offer or job announcement that comes into your email inbox UNSOLICITED is a scam! Sad, but true. We’ve seen plenty over the years. Common pitches are for a “virtual assistant” (whatever that is) and a “mystery shopper.” (Doug thinks he may be a mystery shopper because his wife sometimes says it's a mystery why he ever thought his latest tie purchase would go with anything in his wardrobe.)
These scams often require fees upfront, payment for a sales pack of junk, or they are looking for an easy method of gathering private information to be used for identity theft or spam sale. (There are actually some legitimate “mystery shopper” jobs that pay people but when you consider what you’ll have to do to get a paycheck, it usually isn’t worth it. Check out this article “Mystery Shopper – Solving the Mystery” at About.com. We advise people to be VERY cautious about accepting any such jobs. Part of the problem is also telling these real jobs apart from the scams. Try Googling these four words: mystery shopper jobs scams …and you’ll see what we mean.)
Let’s point out the obvious things in the above two scams:
1. These emails do not personally identify the recipient. There’s nothing personal about them to indicate the sender even knows the recipient at all. They don’t address the recipient by name.
2. The From email address sometimes doesn’t match the contact email address in the message, such as the Virtual Assistant position in the first scam above.
3. The emails are not sent from a legitimate, verifiable business email address, with a physical address and telephone number.
And then you might see something like this job alert from “jobrapido.com”
Again, nothing in the email identifies the recipient. The recipient was not qualified for a Vet Receptionist position and had no interest in it. But jobrapido is a legitimate job hunting service…. Right? We imagine so but the Internet is littered with people asking if JobRapido.com is legit or a scam such as this post on Yahoo Answers.
That response led us to query Google with the words jobrapido.com and scam. We found lots of people asking whether or not jobrapido was legit! And ScamAdvisor.com listed the site as “risky.”
And then we got this...
Does this job vacancy look familiar? Check out the virtual assistant scam we received nearly three weeks earlier at the top of this article. Yup, we thought so too. So we did some research into an email server for keywords like job vacancy and employment…
Got the picture? In case you still have some doubts about the authenticity of those job offers pouring into your email account, have a look at this last one. Look familiar?
- Email comes from a Yahoo account but you are asked to reply to a Gmail account.
- No legitimate business name/number that can be verified.
- No personal information to identify the recipient.
- The subtle grammar, spelling, and incorrect use of capital letters doesn’t inspire confidence in this employer.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Six Signs It's A Job Scam (from CNN.com)