Avoiding Employment Scams

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In these challenging economic times, get-rich-quick schemes, work-at-home scams, pyramid schemes, and numerous other approaches promising employment and wealth are used to separate job seekers and the underemployed from their money. The New York State Department of State Division of Consumer Protection offers tips and suggestions on how to avoid becoming a victim of an employment scam. These include:

  • Remember the adage, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"
  • Be suspicious of employment-service firms that guarantee finding you a job. Take time to review contracts from employment firms
  • Use caution when contacting entities promoting "previously undisclosed" federal government jobs
  • Avoid high pressure tactics that stress paying immediately or risk missing an employment opportunity
  • Be aware that some ads may appear to announce a job opportunity, however, it is really an ad selling employment information and services
  • Be wary of potential employers who:
    • Want personal information prior to an interview
    • Offer to hire you without an interview or meeting
    • Charge up-front placement fees or other charges as a condition of your employment
    • Ask you to transfer, receive and/or deposit money or receive/send packages (especially from outside the United States)
    • Do not provide a job description or cannot describe the position for which you are inquiring
  • Note possible financial repercussions when dialing a toll-free number. Once connected, you may be unwittingly switched to a pay-per-call number, or asked to call a 900-number without proper fee disclosure
  • Surf the Internet cautiously when looking for employment
  • Use secure and reputable sites to post your resume

Last Modified: April 26, 2011