Job Scams

What It Is

What is a job scam?

Dishonest people are sometimes called scammers. They might promise to help you find a job. The scammers promise to help you if you pay them.

But after the scammers take your money, you get nothing. This is a job scam.

How do I know a job is a scam?

Most fake job offers have things in common. A job scam:

  • promises you a job
  • guarantees that you will make money
  • often says you can work at home
  • might offer government jobs no one knows about

Scammers advertise fake jobs:

  • in the newspaper
  • online
  • on signs, posters, and flyers

What does a fake job offer look like?

An ad for a job that would be a scam might look like this:

Earn $500-$1000 per week guaranteed. Work from your won home! Assembly, office work. Call 800-555-5555

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What To Know

How do job scams work?

You might see an ad on a poster, online, or in the newspaper. The ad promises that you will get a job. The ad might guarantee that you will make a certain amount of money.

You might respond to the website or phone number in the ad. You will hear more promises. And then someone will ask you to pay:

  • to get the job
  • for more job listings
  • for supplies to start a business at home
  • for a certification that is supposed to get you a job

If you pay, you will not get the job they promised. Instead, you might get:

  • a list of jobs that is old
  • job search advice you could get for free
  • a certificate that will not help you get a job
  • nothing at all   

You will not get your money back, even if they promised you would. 

How can I tell what is real and what is a scam?

Here are some ways to spot a job scam. Scammers:

  • promise to get you a job
  • ask you to pay before they help you
  • promise you a government job
  • promise you can make lots of money working from home

If someone really could help you, they would not promise these things.  No one can promise that you will get a job. 

What if I already sent money to someone who promised me a job?

You probably will not get your money back. But you can help other people not get scammed. 

If you sent money and got no help, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

The FTC uses complaints to build cases against scammers. Any information you can give helps investigators.

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What To Do

Scammers might promise you a job, lots of money, or work you can do at home. But they make you pay them before they help you. If you pay them, you will lose your money and will not get a job.

How do I spot a job scam?

Look for these signs of a scam. Scammers might:

  • promise you a job
  • promise you a government job
  • offer you the secret to getting a job
  • promise that you will make lots of money by working at home
  • offer you a certificate to improve your chances of getting a job

Scammers always will ask you to pay first. That is the biggest sign of any scam. Never pay in advance. Someone might say you cannot lose. It is not true. You will lose money.

How can I avoid a job scam?

  • Never deal with anyone who promises you a job. No one can promise you a job.
  • Do not pay in advance for information about a job. Even if there is a money-back guarantee.
  • Do not deal with anyone who says you have to act fast.
  • Ignore promises to make thousands of dollars working in your own home. Those promises are lies.

What if I already paid someone but I did not get anything?

If you sent money and did not get help finding a job, report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

The FTC uses complaints to build cases against scammers. Any information you can give helps investigators.

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