A Project Bold Life Guide to Avoiding Fake Hiring Scams

someone falling for fake hiring scams

Job hunting is easily one of the hardest and most significant steps in gaining employment. In 2023, the monthly average number of job-seeking Americans reached 12.4 million. But with the job market as competitive as it already is, things get more complicated with the rising cases of job scams. To ensure you get the job of your dreams, here’s a Bold Business guide to prevent fake hiring scams.

(Want to know how to use AI to help build out your resume? Project Bold Life has got you covered!)

Fake Hiring Scam Facts and Common Job Search Scams Must-Knows

Although job offer scams have been part of the job market for years, the Better Business Bureau noted a 250% increase in fake hiring scams during the first quarter of 2023. In addition, more than 2,000 active job-seekers lost at least $850,000 from the scammers.

In North America alone, 14 million job-seekers have become victims of job-hiring scams, with annual direct losses reaching over $2 billion. Besides hurting individuals, these scammers also impact the companies they impersonate, especially if they don’t take immediate action to control and prevent further damage.

In job scams, criminals plan on extracting sensitive information or financial fraud. Other scammers use them for backdoor deployment, which gives them remote access to company systems. But things don’t stop there. The rising cases of employment scams also showed various types of related-scamming activities. Here are some of them.

  • Work-from-home job scams
  • Emailed fake hiring scams
  • Social media job offer scams
  • Government and postal service job scams
  • Fake employment or recruitment websites
  • Job placement service scams

Job scamming on verified job sites is also possible. Although most job search sites check and verify every employment opportunity, they’re not 100% immune to fake job ads. In this type of employment scam, scammers bypass the verified job boards to put their scam job ads.

An older woman falling for a fake hiring scam
If the job offer sounds to good to be true, be wary–it could be a fake hiring scam!

How to Know a Job Offer Is a Scam

Many victims fall for fake employment scammers because they often mimic legitimate job market players. Most successful scams come from verified job search sites like CareerBuilder and Headhunter, including social media platforms and networks like LinkedIn, emails, and Facebook. During the interviews, they utilize Zoom or Teams and even fill out the employer’s site at Slack.

Identifying whether the job you’re applying to is legitimate can be challenging., especially if you don’t know which parts of the application process are genuine. Fortunately, job search scammers follow similar schemes when deceiving their victims. Recognizing these factors will help you know if the offer is a scam.

Paid Training

Employments that use specific applications and tools, which require additional training, are some of the most successful job scams. Scammers tell their victims they should pay for this mandatory training course before starting and receiving their links. Once you encounter this situation, stop the application process and report the employer’s account.

In addition, scammers would assure you of reimbursing that money with your first paycheck from the company but note that whatever connection you have will end soon as you finish the mandatory course. To make things more legitimate-looking, they create training platforms to appear more independent and unrelated to the employer.

Sending Merchandise and Reselling Goods

Most work-from-home job scams deal with emails notifying victims of receiving goods. Scammers then persuade them to check these products and mail them back. They also require individuals to remove the packaging and other accompanying documents.

In this scheme, the scammer uses victims to resell illegally purchase goods paid from stolen credit cards. Once the month ends, the victims won’t receive their review payments and will stop receiving packages. After this, you’ll find the police showing up on your doorstep for theft as your address becomes a significant part of fraudulent purchases.

Paying for Tools and Consumables

Newer types of fake job scams let their victims go through their fabricated hiring process before sending an email that they got the job. This red flag is one of the most difficult things to identify until you have wasted time and effort with the interviews and paperwork, which makes the scam more successful.

In this deceiving act, “employers” tell their newly-hired victims that they need tools, like laptops, phones, and cameras, to accomplish their tasks. The victim then gets an email or call telling them to buy their work gadgets in the link they provided with the assurance of reimbursement in their first paycheck.

But they can make more elaborate schemes out of this too. Recently, a fresh college graduate fell victim to this scam in hopes of getting better career opportunities. The scammer, who introduced themselves as a hired recruiter from Bold Business, put her through what seemed like Bold’s hiring process before notifying her she got the position. But before she could start, she must send a cheque for the equipment she’ll need and send it to Zelle, only to confirm later that it was a scam.

Paying Them Means It’s A Scam!

Job-seeking is a competitive and grueling experience that many scammers abuse to their benefit. From fake sites to distrustful hiring processes, numerous things can set you off when looking for a job. But the biggest red flag you should always look for is when your “employer” asks for money. No legitimate job opportunities would ask job-seekers to pay for anything, even if they got the job. The best thing is to remain vigilant and cautious of every job offer, especially if they’re too good to be true.


Don’t forget the book that lays out the principles of goal-achievement and attaining a Bold Life!

About the Author

Through timely and thoughtful articles, the book Project Bold Life: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success, and other media, we deliver engaging content that educates, motivates and inspires you to live a Bold Life.
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