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The Resume Scam: Red Flags That Job Seekers Should Watch For


How to Identify and Avoid Fraudulent Job Offers and Email Job Scams

While sifting through job postings on websites such as ZipRecruiter, Indeed, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor, users often find those perfect positions. The ones that offer high wages, good benefits, and work-from-home options. And it only takes a single click to apply, provided the candidate has set up a profile on their preferred job-hunting site.

If that perfect job is with a known company, there is little risk. Known companies have websites, active phone numbers and can be searched on the internet. There is a high comfort factor when applying with a known company.

But what about the companies that you haven’t heard of? Perhaps you see a great job that seems perfect for your skillset. Many people are quick to apply, thinking they’ve finally hit the jackpot. But, a word of caution.

Before you press that button, here is something to think about. There may not be a job or a company on the other side of that link. You may instead be looking at an identity thief. If you stop and do a quick internet search and find few results aside from the links to various jobs, keep looking.

But there is more to be concerned about. Many scammers know their link might not pull people in, so they resort to direct email. Your contact information is available on most sites for prospective employers to review.


An Identify Theft E-Mail Scam From a "Prospective Employer"

The direct e-mail scam can have a high level of sophistication, or it could be simple as in this example. Remember that if you can't verify the details using outside sources, then it's likely fraudulent.

Our Company returning back concerning application on XXXXX website for opening of Senior Buyer.
SALARY: $92,000.00 to $115,300.00 / Per Year
POST TYPE: Home based position
PERIOD: Long Term

Base Responsibilities and Duties consist of:
- Secures quotes from vendors of required resources to negotiate most favorable prices and services
- Do plans and discuss long term contracts and conditions
- Maintain supply chain activity including controlling supplier selection
- Inducting, evaluating and tracking supplier price, quality, and delivery improvement initiatives
- Look over logistics to insure products timely delivery with all documentation required

Skills and Competencies:
- Great communication skills
- Ability to provide exceptional customer service while meeting final dates and do work effectively in a high-volume environment
- Be able to negotiate best producer terms, prices and delivery based on specific budget and schedule requirements
- Strong computer skills, be proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel
- You must be authorized to work in the US without sponsorship
- Valid DL and Driver background is mandatory
- Provide resume

Please attach your Resume if you want to have more details or apply to our email
Notice Only applicants with resume will be considered and called!!!

How to Identify Red Flags in a Job Posting or Email

The number of red flags in this message is countless.

The first thing to look for is the email addresses in the message. Most companies do not use free email platforms like g-mail or yahoo. This particular message was sent from one address but asked for replies to another; second red flag.

There is no company name in the message, only a promise of a high salary, red flag number three. The overall grammar and structure are poor. The wording doesn't appear like a native English speaker wrote the message. A human resource office or hiring manager would not make these kinds of mistakes.

The job requirements are vague and poorly worded. There is conflicting data in the message, such as why would a work-from-home position need a valid driver's license? Finally, there is no signature block on the email with the hiring manager's contact information. This is the United Nations of red flags when taken as a whole.

A Setup for Identity Theft

What this really does is set you up for identity theft. The message tries to convince you to send your resume first. A follow-up email would probably ask for your driver's license information and supporting documentation that says you can work in the United States, possibly even your Social Security number.

With that information, your identity is officially stolen and the scammer can start to bore into your electronic life, your banking, social media, and even file a false tax return.

If It Looks Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is

If it looks too good to be true, let your intuition and common sense be your guide. If you are seeking a job, don't apply until you check things out. Even if you have been looking and are starting to feel desperate, getting your identity stolen will be much worse. There are many opportunities in the job market today. None of them are perfect, but there is the right one for you out there.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Ralph Schwartz