woman working on laptop

Found a job listing to telework as a Spanish translator or a data entry clerk with great benefits and pay? Scammers are impersonating real employers on legitimate platforms like ZipRecruiter and Indeed. When you respond, they might even schedule interviews and send you seemingly genuine paperwork. But it’s all a scam to get your information and steal your money or your identity.

Here’s how to know you’re dealing with a scam

Everything moves really fast. As soon as you apply, the so-called employer only wants to schedule an interview using Signal Messenger or similar text-only apps. You agree, answer a few questions – and bam, you got the job! The next thing you know, they’re asking you to fill out direct deposit and tax forms with your bank account and other personal information. In some cases, they might send you a large check with instructions to set up your home office. But by the time you realize the job is fake, the scammers already have your money and information.

To avoid job scams without passing up a good job opportunity:

  • Do some research before you apply
    Look up the company online or call a phone number you know to be real. If you can’t verify the job opening, it could be a scam.
  • Talk to someone you trust
    Describe the offer to them. What do they think? This also helps give you vital time to think about the offer.
  • Never pay for a job or equipment
    Honest employers won’t ask you to pay upfront, and they won’t send you a check and then tell you to deposit it and send them part of the money. Those are scams.
  • Report phony job opportunities
    You can report to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov and the website where you saw the job posting.

Did you give personal or financial information for a job that turned out to be fake? Go to IdentityTheft.gov to report it and get a recovery plan.