Job and Employment Scams on Craigslist

November 7, 2013

Because it is free to post listings in many cities on Craigslist, the site is known for having many job scams. These scams often have generic job titles, such as “Administrative Assistant” or “Customer Service Representative,” and may say that you can work from home. The listings often lack a specific company location or say they are international. This way, they can say they cannot interview you in person.

These job scams will ask you to send money and/or to set up a bank account to receive paychecks (which, if sent to you, are not legitimate). Other Craigslist employment related scams ask you to subscribe to a site where you can find more job listings, or have you join a site to receive web training.

Some scams will ask you to pay for a background check or credit check as a condition of employment. Others, once you have responded to the posting, will ask for your bank account or credit card information to process your application or start the hiring process. Some of these companies will instruct you to wire money for a training kit or employment supplies.

Craigslist Job Scam Warnings

Craigslist provides a warning regarding some of the typical scams that may be listed on the Jobs section of the site. The scam postings may list jobs which don’t exist, offer a chance to participate in paid research trials, or to take advantage of other opportunities to supposedly earn money.

The job seeker is then directed to fee-based services and/or sites where you are instructed to enter personal information that is used for identity theft. Those sites include:

  • Background checking services
  • Credit check or credit report
  • Sites where you are directed to enter your resume, bank account or credit card numbers, or other personal information
  • Sites where you are asked to sign up for a “free” trial offer
  • Sites offering fee-based training or education
  • Sites offering opportunities for making money
  • Survey or focus group sites
  • Sites designed to deliver malware or misuse your personal information

How to Avoid Craigslist Job Scams

To avoid Craigslist scams, research each company that is listed to ensure that the information on the listing matches that on the website. Do not send writing samples, your resume, or any contact information before you are confident a listing is not a scam, and never send money through a Craigslist listing.

Your choice of search keywords can also help you avoid scams. Be as specific as you can when searching for a job – if possible, list both a specific job title and location to evade these scam listings.

It should be a red flag when you read a job posting or get an email about a job and fees are involved. Legitimate employers don’t ever ask job applicants to pay for anything related to job applications or to hiring.

In addition, remember that legitimate employers will never ask for bank account information prior to hiring you and then it would be only for setting up direct deposit after you are employed with the company.

Craigslist has a number of legitimate job listings, so do not be discouraged. Simply be cautious when applying to jobs and giving out personal information.


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