20 Ways to Identify Job Scams on Craigslist
Poor job hunters! The stress of trying to find a job in this poor economy that matches our skills and salary requirements is hard enough. But unsuspecting job hunters now have another battle to contend with - JOB SCAMS and FAKE JOB OFFERS! No - they may not all be looking to rob us of our money but they are certainly robbing us of one commodity that can't be replaced - TIME!
Scam job offers are all over the Internet as creative web scammers are finding a way into our lives. Craig's List scammers are especially prevalent because the job posts and listings are free. You probably get the money scam spam emails that say "Make Money on Craig's List"! Well the money they are making is most likely at our expense. Millions of people every day are searching job posts online trying to find the perfect job. Everyone would, ideally, like to work at home and make lots of money or work for a company that allows telecommuting. Interestingly, these perfect job offers are all over Craig's List!
If you go on Craig's List looking for a job - be forwarned! There are many posts that aren't jobs at all - simply evil ways for people to make affiliate money, to get you to sign up for their service or a money scam that gets you to accept fake bank deposits. The fake job posts are everywhere, in every city, for all job types - especially looming in the part-time job category. Craig's List is a free post system so it is a big attraction to scam artists from across the country. I tested a few of the postings to see if they were legitimate. To my dismay - very few were real job listings. It is a shame because the few real job post ads have to be entaggled with all of the bogus crap jobs.
20 Signs That a Job Post Could Be One of the Craigslist Job Scams
- It has a generic, over-used or vague job title. Admin Assistant or Customer Service Rep are popular ones.
- The jobs that indicate that "Telecommuting is Ok". This attracts many people and gives them more responses.
- They fail to list a specific location for the job - i.e. they list no location under the city or area that you are searching.
- They list a salary or hourly wage that seems too good to be true or too specific like $13.64 - 34.23 / hour. What the...?
- They list it as a government job.
- They post a job with a title that doesn't match the description.
- They use strange sentences or misspellings.
- A search for that job title in Google - example "Admin Assistant Craig's List" and comes up in many other cities with the exact same job post. Because Craig's List is free - they can easily post the same bogus job post in every city.
- If the description has a bunch of exclamation points and promises high income in one week.
- If the description boldly states "No Experience Necessary" but has a promise of high pay.
- There is no job contact information. A quality job post will tell you who to email or give you a valid company website.
- A link that is to a home business or multi level marketing opportunity website. This isn't a JOB - but a business venture. If you were looking for a home business opportunity you would have searched that category.
- A link that redirects you to another site.
- A link that takes you to a job membership site and asks you to register.
- A quick response to your email inquiry that tells you they have reviewed your resume when you didn't even send it.
- A quick response to your email inquiry that leads you to another website that promises you more job openings - like government jobs. Click after click - nothing but a time waster...
- A response to your email inquiry that asks you to sign up for a web-conferencing service so you can be part of a training call.
- A response to your email inquiry with a name and company that does not exist.
- A response to your email inquiry from someone in a foreign country looking to hire people in the United States to handle accounts payable or receivables.
- The same auto response to all of your emails. There isn't a real person at the other end of the email account.
Tips on How to Avoid Being Scammed by one of the Fake Job Offers
If you suspect that a job post is bogus - follow some of these guidelines to avoid spending much of your precious time and energy.
- Send a generic inquiry first. Do not send your resume right away. Do not waste your time on a cover letter and reformatting your resume for a scam. Tell them you are interested in the job but would like to know more about the company and the location. Be sure to ask who you should direct the resume to.
- Search for that job title in Google - example "Admin Assistant Craig's List" and see if it comes up in other cities with the exact same job post.
- If they reply to your email. Check the name, company and website. Always check to make sure the company is a real company before you continue to waste time pursuing the job offer. Do a Google search on the company name or contact name to see if they exist or if there are any complaints written by others about this job offer.
- Check the website address they give you. Does the website seem legitimate or does it just redirect you to another site? If the link is something like "sitename.com/submityouresume.asp". Check the main website by taking off the "submityourresume.asp" and search the "sitename.com" to see what the website is really about. If it is bogus it will have nothing to do with the job offer or the company.
- Never pay money for anything. Never give your credit card or bank account info. Never open a bank account for a foreign company!
How are the Craigslist Scammers Making Money?
I figured out a few ways but I am sure there are many, many more!
- When they send you to site that asks you for a membership the site they send you to is usually a job listing site that promises you more job listings if you subscribe. When you subscribe the sender will make affiliate money or get free traffic to their website.
- A bogus Government Job site that is all Google Adsense ads or affiliate links that takes you nowhere and finds you no job! They make money every time you click in frustration. They also make money if you click an affiliate link and sign up or subscribe to a service.
- A creative person came up with idea of having their job candidates sign up for a web training call using a web-conferencing services that pays for every person who signs up. This person will get paid if you follow her instructions to sign up for the web call. In the case that I found they get $3 for every person that signs up for a 14 day trial and another dollar amount if they actually sign up. This "company" then delays the call so you are forced to hang on to the service and pay for it - allowing them to make more money from you.
- Foreign countries looking for Assistants in the United States that are honest! They promise you the moon and the stars but really just want you to open a bank account - collect checks (that will eventually bounce) and make payments. You make the payments thinking the money is really there and then the check bounces. Because it is overseas you are stuck and liable for the money!!
- This isn't so much a scam but is misleading and happens even in newspapers - a great job position is advertised but it may not really exist. It actually hooks you up with a headhunter who will offer you lower paying jobs down-playing your experience or credentials.
- Postal Service Jobs post with promises of high pay. The problem is you have to buy the test and course materials to be able to apply for these jobs. This is from a company not affiliated with the U.S. Post Office. They do tell you that but are quick to take your money for something that is actually free.
- Very scary - although I never ran into this - if you think you have a legitimate job and supply them with a W-4 that has your personal information including your social security number. Could a job scam post lead to identity theft? Probably... so beware!
Update 2015: New Scams Found!
"Sell on eBay"
When I first saw the ads for people to sell on eBay I thought "wow! I can do that!". Then I thought, "Wait....why can't they just do that...". In one ad the guy said he went over his quota on ebay and couldn't be bothered opening a new account BUT was willing to give you half of his profits for using your account. Interesting isn't it?
I imagined how this would work. They give you the ad and pictures to place on ebay (doing all of the work for you) and you place the listing under your account. Someone buys the item and you get paid in your Paypal account. The person says they shipped the item and you give them 50% of the profit. I imagine they they never ship anything or if they do it is crap. You then get a return request or a complaint and ultimately have to refund the full amount of the listing. The other person is long gone with 50% of the "profits" and you are left owing money. Sound like a situation you want to be in.... I don't think so. In summary...if it sounds too good to be true ...it is. Simple as that.
Ebay and Amazon Sellers Wanted
Compensation: Up to 40% of Profits We are a Wholesale Distributor of Cellular Phones, Electronics, and Accessories, looking for qualified sellers to list our products from home. Make UP TO 40% of the profits working from home. We supply the inventory, distribute and fulfill all orders. Perfect for full time or for making extra income in your spare time.
We carry Iphone, Android, other Cellular Phones, and accessories. Must have your own Ebay and Amazon accounts.
Serious replies only. E-mail or call during business hours - 10AM to 6PM Monday through Friday
Create Amazon Reviews
This is probably an ethical question rather than a concern about being scammed. You are being paid a small sum to be scammed of your morals. In these ads people would like you to write reviews for various items and they will pay you per each review. Assuming they actually do pay you. Huh? How do you write a good review for something you haven't seen, used or no nothing about? I imagine you are just writing crap. Great....that is what we need more crap online and bogus reviews. You don't want to be a part of this.
Secret Shoppers, Mystery Shoppers, Online Surveys, Paid to Click on Ads or Shop Online
I found a number of ads telling you about ways to make money online when AGAIN they are just affiliate links or links that serve them and not you. Note the examples below. They are coming pay per click sites that anyone can access. Are they really hiring you to do a job? No these people are just using the free Craigslist posting to promote their link which gets them points on the site or money for each sign up. Don't waste your time on these.
Experienced Mystery Shopper
Compensation: $25.00 - $50.00 per audit plus reimbursement A mystery shopper is a person who visits an establishment (typically a retail store, bank, restaurant or other such places where the public does business) for the purpose of observing and measuring customer service, product quality and the environment of the establishment in general. Pay rates range between $25.00 - $50.00 per audit plus reimbursement for expenses incurred while performing the audit.
Please respond if you are interested and provide name, city of residence, email address, cell phone number, and indicate whether or not you have Mystery Shopping experience.
Get Paid to Click Online Ads - Join Free (telecommute)
compensation: Commensurate with task Get paid to click on advertisements! Millions of people are doing it to make extra income! Copy the link below and paste into your browser for more information on how to start getting paid to click online advertisements.
Don't wait, take action now and get paid to do something you're already doing!
Do not hesitate to contact us via email about additional opportunities
Get Paid for Sharing Your Opinion (telecommute)
compensation: Commensurate with task Are you currently getting paid to share your opinion? If not we can show you can start to earn money for sharing your opinion and completing micro tasks online! What you think does matter! Copy the link below and paste into your browser for more information on how to start getting paid to share your opinion.
Don't wait, FREE TO JOIN; take action now and GET PAID for your opinion!
Job Post - Bank Account Fraud - Scam Example
Job Post Title: Accounting/Admin Clerk/Bookkeeping or also listed as: At Home Assistant
Maintain accurate record and documentation of account receivables and/or payables on behalf of the company.
Make light accounts payables on behalf of the company.
Accurate documentation of Company files, duplicate bank slips and checks.
Proper recordings of transactions that involves you.
Make payments to any of our branch offices where shipment of product originates, as you will be instructed to.
Keeping Company's information very confidential.
Making orders if contacted by clients and keeping tab on all order- documents that you make.
Respond to customer enquiries (internal/external).
Good communication skills.
You will earn an enviable monthly salary of $5,000.
You have salary option of Monthly or Weekly payment after your three months probational period.
You will have opportunity of benefiting from our Fringe benefit packages, e.g., A pre-paid trip to our office in Manchester UK, Selected South American Locations or any of our shipment locations all around the world with free Lodging accommodations.
You will work for approximately 10 hrs a week.
You will not have direct supervisor though we do not appreciate abuse of this privilege.
10% bonus is accrued to you for processing payments successfully or forwarding a successful order to the company on behalf of any of our clients/customer.
Good communication skills.
Efficiency in use of MS-Word and MS Excel.
Quick decisive mind and good work ethic.
A little knowledge of Documentation.
Own a verifiable mailing address.
You must be a fast-paced learner.
Easy adaptability to new challenge
We are looking for employees who satisfy our requirements and will be a competent assistant to the company, now limited to ten candidates.
Email Reply to my Inquiry:
THE REAL WOOD FURNITURE COMPANY
Thank you for your recent online application received on our Craigslist's Ad.
Welcome to THE REAL WOOD FURNITURE COMPANY. Please be informed that your application as been received and it is receiving consideration by our Human Resources Unit.
We are REAL WOOD FURNITURE COMPANY. We have branches all over the world consisting of small subsidiary companies.We act as a medium of goods and services exchange between sellers and buyers (That is we help small businesses to sell their products abroad as well as help buyers receive their goods and sellers get their money in due course). Our main office is in London England, while our executive branch office is located in Bell Garden Califorina USA.
There are basically four segments of the Company, They are:
1. REAL WOOD FURNITURE pre-Columbia arts.
2. REAL WOOD FURNITURE gallery of Levantine arts.
3.REAL WOOD FURNITURE African arts and Statuettes.
4.REAL WOOD FURNITURE Museum quality arts.
We also supply these services: Italian Marble Fireplaces, Brazilian custom made leather funitures, French wall paintings, Austrian door etches, etc.
We produce quite a range of Artifacts and Antiquities, which includes but not limited to Urns, Vases, Plates, Jewelries, Lapis Lazuli Necklaces, Clay rhytons, etc.Our goal is to always provide fast, personal, and professional service leaving our customers with a sense of purchase satisfaction. We provide a wish book for those looking for that vintage something special that may not be in stock at the time.
Historically, telecommute Employees form 37% of our total Employees number all around the world. This is as a result of the amount of demand garnered by our products around the globe. We therefore seek new employees periodically to meet the increasing demand of our product.
We simply desire the best services in our Employees both Telecommute (Work from Home) and regulars.
We are glad to offer this job position to you. To take up this job offer, send a blank message to us at us.f455.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Toemail@example.com or Give us a call at +447045716280,02071178345
Acknowledging this job and we shall proceed with your application process.
Brian Dixon (Human Resources Manager)
Brian Dixon (Human Resources Manager)
The Real Wood Furniture Company
Address: London House,
Woodstock, OX20 1TS,
Telephone :+447045716280 ( UK Agent)
02071178345 ( UK Agent)
323-657-5937 (USA Agent)
This person is using a real company website but if you look or investigate further you find the person does not exist and the company web site makes no mention of job offers like this. Other than that it is simply too good to be true. Excellent pay and free family vacations! The irony is they want HONEST people! Ha! This is probably a bank account scam.
Affiliate Money - Job Scam Post
Job Post Title: Customer Service Rep
Dont just be a number work for a company that cares. Come and grow with us.
Duties include -
1) Taking customers calls.
2) Maintain work schedules.
3) Maintain and update computer records
You will be able to work with office, excel and word.
You will require an internet connection and a home phone
Good typing and written skills required.
You will be paid weekly - $17.50 an hour.
If you would like to apply please send your resume and outline your experience.
Location: South Jersey
- Compensation: 17.50 an hour
- Telecommuting is ok.
- This is a part-time job.
- OK to highlight this job opening for persons with disabilities
- Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
- Please, no phone calls about this job!
- Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
Reply to my Inquiry:
You recently replied to our job posting on Craigslist seekingcustomer service reps/ virtual assistants.
You are receiving this email from me because your resume has been reviewed , accepted and you have been selected as a possible candidate for the advertised position.
We are seeking virtual assistants who will serve as customer service representatives for our security alarm firm. We have customers throughout 46 major cities who require 24 hour monitoring.
Your responsibilities will include monitoring remote alarms for faults and contacting the local engineers to service/ repair faulty alarms. You may also be required to take emergency calls.
Candidates should have average to above average office skills, good comprehension, and should be able to type at a fast pace.
Pay is $17.50 per hour and you should be able to work a minimum of 15 hours per week, with the maximum being 40 hours. Payments are made weekly via check or direct deposit. Calls will be routed to the phone number of your choice (this must be a US Number) during the time you are signed into our system only. This will not prohibit you from taking personal calls, as your screen will indicate when it is a call being routed from us.
If calls are not answered after 8 rings they are re-routed to another representative.
All applicants need to attend a web based meeting where you will be shown each aspect of the job in details, as well as having any questions answered.
Please set aside 1 hour to complete this and also be prepared to take notes. I have also attached 2 tests which will serve to gauge your comprehension and computer skills. In order to meet our deadlineof 1st October start date, all documents, tests and orientation should be completed no later than 1st October 6pm EST.
To receive your invitation to the orientation webinar please visit our website at:
and create a trial account using the email you used to apply for the position.
After I receive your username and tests, I will send you a few manuals to look over, along with a choice of 2 timesto attend orientation, and a file containing fully functional copies of all necessary in-house software that you will need to have installed and ready before the orientation webinar. It will not be necessary for you to purchase any other additional software programs for this job.
Please note you are not guaranteed employment until you receive an email from myself entitled "Welcome Aboard". Before this time all tests, orientation and paperwork must be completed, the results of which will determine your employment eligibility with us.
If you have any questions Dolores please let me know.
Recruitment and Training Manager
** Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail **
The information contained in this e-mail is of a confidential nature and is intended only for the addressee.
If you are not the intended addressee, any disclosure, copying or distribution by you is prohibited and may be unlawful.
Disclosure to any party other than the addressee, whether inadvertent or otherwise, is not intended to waive privilege or confidentiality.
Internet communications are not secure and therefore DC Alarms does not accept legal responsibility for the contents of this message.
Any views or opinions expressed are those of the author.
1. This company does not exist.
2. There are other people talking on the web about whether this offer is real.
3. The test files that she attached to the email are ridiculous. Very simple and the most bogus test you can imagine. A moron could complete it. No real company would have such a simple test.
4. The link in the email is a redirected affiliate link that tells you she makes money from the referral in some way. In this case she gets $3 if I sign up for the free trial and more after the 14 day trial period if I pay for a month's subscription.
5. The parent link to this website has nothing to do with security.
Identity Theft Info from www.bbbonline.org
What does the identity thief want?
Simply put, the thief wants to become you - and the better you look on paper, the more likely you are to be a target. There are an almost infinite number of ways for a thief to steal your identity; we'll discuss the most common ones here. But everything starts with the thief's ability to get access to certain key pieces of information that belong to you. Here's just a few things the thief is looking for:
- Your Social Security Card
- Your Driver's License
- Your account number (bank, credit card and others), PIN(s) and passwords
Where does the identity thief
In the real world, the answers to this question range from the absolutely obvious to the very unusual. Here are just some of the sources a thief may go to obtain your personal information:
- Your wallet or purse. Take just a moment right now to take out your wallet or open your purse. Imagine that you were up to no good. What could you do with the contents? While you probably don't have an excessive amount of cash, most of us have a great deal of personal information packed into this relatively small space. How many credit cards are you carrying? Do you have bank PINs jotted down to jog your memory? How about your health insurance ID card? Voter registration card? Driver's license, registration and auto insurance card? Frequent flyer or frequent guest cards? Car rental premium cards? Is your Social Security number on one or more of the documents?
- Your mailbox. In the wrong hands, your incoming mail can be a treasure trove of information about you. A bill from your credit card company, a statement from your checking account, an unsolicited offer of a new, pre-approved credit card (complete with application). And your outgoing mail may include personal checks you are sending to pay bills (containing your routing and checking account numbers). If you don't have a locked mailbox for incoming and outgoing mail, you are vulnerable.
- Your glove compartment. Some people's auto glove compartment contains their owner's manual, and not much more. For other people, it's a mobile filing cabinet, containing things like vehicle registrations, insurance cards, old bills, credit card receipts. If you left your car unlocked and someone got inside, how much personal information about you could they discover?
- Your trash. Because people find it hard to believe that anyone would want to pour through garbage cans, they throw away the darndest things - things like unsolicited credit card applications, old bills, expired credit cards, unused checking account deposit slips and countless other papers. So, for the identity thief, a bit of "dumpster diving" can provide a rich harvest of personal information - information that can be used to become you.
- You. Sometimes, you can be your own worst enemy. Simply put, the easiest way for a thief to steal your identity is to ask you for it. Posing as your bank, or your insurance company, or your doctor's office, the thief calls you on the telephone, gives you a plausible story and asks you for key pieces of personal information. This practice is called "pretexting", and you can learn more about the practice from the Federal Trade Commission.
How are these used?
The short answer is, "if you can dream it, the identity thief can - and probably has - done it. Here's just a short list of some of the things that identity thieves have done with the information and documents they've acquired:
- Use your credit card(s) to go on a buying spree, purchasing major items like computers and other electronic devices that can be easily sold.
- Open new credit card accounts, using your name, date of birth and Social Security number.
- Change the mailing address on your existing credit card account.
- Buy cars and take out the auto loans in your name.
- Establish telephone or wireless phone service in your name.
- Counterfeit checks or debit cards, and drain your bank account.
- Open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on that account.
- File for bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts they've incurred, or to avoid eviction.
- Apply for a job under your name.
- Give your name to the police during an arrest. When they are released - and if they don't show up for their court date - an arrest warrant could be issued in your name.
Craigslist PHISHING for Login Info Attempt
Just when I thought I couldn't be fooled by Phishing attempts... this one tricked me so I want to share it with you. I assume they just want my Craigslist login information so they can use it to scam people and not be traced.
I was fooled by the first email because I had just posted an ad and the email said that my ad had been flagged (see below). I thought it was strange that it did not come to the same email that my account is listed with - rather the email I had listed in the ad. That was my first clue. I actually clicked on the link and didn't notice that the website had changed and wasn't the Craigslist link that was displayed. I entered my login and password and then turned pale when I saw that it took me to some bogus Craigslist page. I quickly logged into the REAL Craigslist and changed my password as quickly as I could. THANKFULLY I got to it before they did!
Initial Email that tricked me:
Your posting has been flagged for removal.
Approximately 98% of postings removed are in violation of craigslist posting guidelines.
(this is a masked email that actually links to a Phishing site made to look like it is legit Craigslist - actually links to: http://ciupacabra991.tripod.com/1.htm )
If you need help figuring out why your posting was flagged, try asking in our flag help forum. Include posting title, body, category, city, how often posted, any images, HTML markup, etc.
If you feel your posting was wrongly flagged down (2% of flagged ads are) please accept our apologies and feel free to repost using the link below:
(this is a masked email that actually links to a Phishing site made to look like it is legit Craigslist - actually links to a bogus site )
Sorry for the hassle, and thanks for your understanding.------------------------------------------------------------------------------Date: 1257114516PostID: 1447127268
We recently noticed an attempt to log in to your account from a foreign Ip address and we have reason to believe that your account was used by third party without your authorization.
Please follow the link below :
(The post a craiglist link is a masked email that actually links to a Phishing site made to look like it is legit Craigslist - actually links to a bogus site )
If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choice but to temporarily suspend your account.
Uggh! These people make me crazy...true scum of the earth!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.