8 Ways To Spot & Avoid Fake Job Scams On The Internet

Mark O'Neill 15-07-2016

Working remotely online Working Remotely Is The Future! This Is How LinkedIn Can Help You A remote or telecommute job is the holy grail of job searching. Leverage the resources on LinkedIn to find your dream job. Read More  is all the rage these days. I’m living the glamorous lifestyle of tech article writing, sunbathing, and Pina Coladas. But if you want to be like me (and who wouldn’t?), then it pays to be a bit careful when applying for jobs How To Deal With Your Job Search In The Internet Age A job that might have been obscure is now a single Craigslist posting away from tens or hundreds of applications. To stand out you’ll need to refine your tactics – both old and new. Read More online. There are sharks out there lurking and ready to take advantage of you, whether it’s extorting “training fees” out of you, getting your personal details for identity theft purposes, or simply getting as much work as possible out of you and not paying for it.


But as always, MakeUseOf is your guardian angel in all things tech. So here are the warning signs that the Elbow Grease Salesman job might not be as kosher as you thought.

It’s On Craigslist

No doubt the Craiglist Fanboys Brigade is going to assault the comments section below and get irate with me for saying this one. But it’s true – if the job is on Craigslist 5 Tips for Navigating the Craigslist Jobs Jungle Unemployment is an issue in much of the world today. There are many people looking for work, but not enough companies hiring. As a result, job hunters are trying to find ways to find and... Read More , be extra careful Taking the Battle to Craigslist Scammers: How to Avoid Scams on Craigslist Launched way back in 1995, Craigslist took the Internet world by storm with its innovative cross of classified ads with the web. But as with all Internet-based transactions, some users prefer to game the system... Read More .

cash_envelopeAnybody can post anything on Craigslist 15 Ways You Can Use Craigslist to Make Money Craigslist is a massive site with tons of opportunities for making money. Here are 15 of them, from totally sensible to borderline crazy. Read More cheaply (the fee for job listings vary depending on the location, but it is still dirt cheap). Proper companies with real, credible job offers are going to be on reputable jobs boards 7 Big Job Search Engines to Help You Find Work Searching for the next good job is a continuous activity for many of us. Start your job search on seven of the biggest job search engines on the web. Read More , such as Monster and Indeed. Blogging jobs are likely to be on Problogger. If it’s on Craigslist, then personally for me it’s a red flag, because they are advertising on the cheap. And if they are skimping on advertising costs, what else are they skimping out on? Salaries, maybe?

And ladies, be extra careful of the waitressing jobs. You might instead end up being interviewed for a job where you’ll be expected to take your clothes off. Unless that’s your thing. In which case, more power to you.

Make a Million Dollars! Look, Here’s My Adsense Balance!

I’m sure you’ve seen it online many times before. Someone offers you the chance to make an easy million dollars. But there’s a secret (shhh!!!), and they won’t give away that secret for free. To tell you how to make a million dollars, they want you to pony up $99.99 to them first. Even though they have that million in the bank, they still need to pay the bills, so secrets are not free you know?
fakeadsenseAnd to sweeten the deal, they have posted a screenshot of their Google Adsense account. Look at all those zeros! Sweetheart, give me a hundred bucks! Food for the kids? Nah, this is more important! But before you hand over your dough and consign the kids to eating cat food for the rest of the month, bear this little nugget in mind. The picture and screenshots are fake.


Sounds so obvious doesn’t it? Faking this stuff is so easy to do — all it takes is 5-10 minutes with Photoshop or GIMP GIMP vs. Photoshop: Which One Is Right for You? Adobe Photoshop is the most popular image editing app. GIMP is the best free alternative to Photoshop. Which should you use? Read More . Or an online generator like this one.

We Have High-Paying Waitressing/Cleaning Jobs Overseas

This is another one for the ladies to be careful about, as sex trade traffickers normally use the ruse of well-paid overseas waitressing or cleaning jobs. Women then apply believing that they are going to be in a really good job only to have their passport taken away from them when they arrive. Then they are transported into a life of hell.


I’m not trying to be excessively gloomy and morbid here, but nevertheless it would be remiss of me not to mention it. I AM talking about job scams, and this is the biggest scam of all.


We Don’t Need to Interview You, You’re Hired!

If you apply for a job and you are instantly hired without even so much as an interview, then that is when you need to get suspicious.


It doesn’t even have to be a full proper interview. Even just a casual chat on Skype How To Win A Job Interview Via Skype For some reason, many tech users tend to separate "reality" from what's on their computer screen. We're bolder people online, hiding behind text conversations, artsy profile pictures, and creative (and also sometimes off-color) user names.... Read More would be fine. But if they base their decision without even talking to you once, then you have to ask yourself — is there even a job there to begin with? And if so, does FlyByNight Industries have any intention of paying you at the end of the month?

Their Contact Email Address Is a Yahoo or Hotmail Address

Proper companies have professional domains 5 Reasons You Should Have Registered A Personal Domain By Now These days I think it’s important for everyone to at least register (if not use) a domain that is personal to them. Not only are domain names under current top-level domains running out , but... Read More . For example, MakeUseOf is It is not Need Free Blog Hosting? Try Blogger With a Custom Domain Want to start a blog? This step-by-step tutorial will help you register a domain name and connect it with Google's Blogger. Read More , or Therefore a professional domain means professional email addresses at that domain.


mailmanIf you get a job offer from, or (in case you haven’t worked it out, “remmacs” is “scammer” backwards), then it’s time to run for the hills. Credible companies do NOT email from free email accounts. If they do, they will either pay extremely little, or not pay at all. I should know, accepting that job offer from was the worst decision I ever made.

I mean, come on, how much is a domain these days? $10 a year? Less, if you go to GoDaddy?

They’re Being Trashed on Google

This is the biggest red flag of all that you should not apply to join a company. Before sending in a job application, you should always Google the company first How to Find Information on Someone Online: 7 Simple Steps Want to track a person down? The web has several powerful search tools and networks to help you find someone online. Read More to see what people are saying about it. But as with everything in life, a sense of perspective is needed here. EVERY company and individual gets a little criticism sometimes — it’s all part of the game. Nobody is going to please every single person all of the time. Hell, I get people mad at me every time one of my articles comes out.

It’s unavoidable.


But if you see pages and pages of search results all saying the same negative stuff, then you have to conclude that there is a pattern forming there — and it isn’t good. Time to start applying at Walmart as a greeter.

Wait, Did I Really Apply to Be Donald Trump’s Toupee Groomer?

Quite often, I get emails telling me that I have been accepted for a job vacancy. Normally that would be great, except I didn’t actually apply for the job in the first place.

If you get the same emails, then the chances are this is just outright spam Still Getting Spam? 4 Email Mistakes to Avoid Today Avoiding spam is impossible. But there are some lesser known tips, tricks, and secrets that can help you fight the battle against suspicious email. Read More , getting you to click on a link so they can infect you with malware 10 Steps To Take When You Discover Malware On Your Computer We would like to think that the Internet is a safe place to spend our time (cough), but we all know there are risks around every corner. Email, social media, malicious websites that have worked... Read More . Or getting you to reply to them, so they can con your personal details out of you to steal your identity and/or your money. If it is a Nigerian Prince offering that you become their personal banker to transport a “bountiful amount of untraceable gold and jewels in the sum of 10 BILLION DOLLARS”, then trust me, this is a job offer to delete.

Besides, that thing on The Donald Clicking Consequences: Why Donald Trump Is Your Fault Every time you click an article about Donald Trump, the media thinks that is what you want to read, and so it spends more time talking about Trump. Stop clicking! Read More ‘s head doesn’t need combed. If you try, it’ll bite your hand off.

Well Payn Jobb Opattunitties! Big $$$$!

Lastly, one of the biggest things to set off your internal scam siren should be grammar mistakes in job adverts. Why should spelling mistakes bother you? Well because it speaks to the professionalism and standards of the business if they are prepared to let such sloppy marketing go out in public.

spellingerrorThat sloppiness can then lead on to how they treat their staff.

Of course it goes without saying that the occasional grammar blooper is fine. We’ve all done it (I would get “Mississippi” wrong without Chrome spell-check The Best Ways to Spell Check in Google Chrome Google Chrome's spell check is nifty! Here's how to work with the spellchecker, plus what other options you have. Read More !), but in the age of browser spell-checkers How to Get the Most out of These Essential Grammar Check Extensions for Chrome If you are a Chrome user, there are a few handy tools that can save you from awkward typos and grammar errors, and help you to get your message across more clearly. Read More highlighting misspelt words, there is less of an excuse for professional companies to put out illiterate job adverts. I’m not being snobbish when I say this, it’s just a plain fact. Maybe you disagree?

It’s Not All qs Bad Aqs You Think

There are countless companies online who have a unimpeachable reputation (MakeUseOf being one of them, I am proud to say). So it is entirely possible to get a well-paying online job with flexible hours, and other benefits such as working from home in your Superman pajamas. But it also pays to be extremely careful that you don’t accidentally fall victim to the predators out there. Hopefully this article has covered the basics you need to watch out for.

Let us know in the comments what other tell-tale signs there are for spotting a shark online.

Image Credits: Freaky Psycho Man by Benoit Daoust via Shutterstock, Bribed Man – Shutterstock, & Rest From Attribution-Free PixaBay

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Anonymous
    July 18, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    "It’s Not All qs Bad Aqs You Think"?