Are you looking for a new job or a career change? If you are, you may end up turning to the employment section of your local newspaper. Although your local newspaper is a great way to get access to local, up-to-date job listings, you need to be cautious of some of those listings.
When we think of scams in general and when they are associated with job opportunities we automatically think of the internet. Yes, most scams take place online, but what you may not realize is that some of your local newspapers may also be home to employment scams. Unfortunately, most newspapers do not have the time, the money, or the resources needed to check each and every one of their employment ads. That is what allows some employment scams to make their way into your local newspaper. However, the good news is that most scams can be spotted right away, at least with the correct knowledge.
Most commonly, employment scammers, those who use job listings to scam unsuspecting job seekers, try and target free or weekly newspapers. Although they still have to pay a fee to take out an advertisement, most of the fees associated with weekly or monthly newspapers are quite minimal. If and when the scam works, the scammer could either walk away with “required,” deposit, or your social security number, possibly even your bank account number, if you were “required,” to sign up for direct deposit. The money that scammers make is actually quite high. That is why five dollars to post a job listing isn’t much of an expense to them.
As outlined above, many scammers make money by stating that all job applicants or hired applicants must pay a deposit. You should never have to pay to get a job; it should be the other way around. Of course, with this in mind, a legitimate business opportunity, particularly one that is home based, may require that you purchase certain equipment, like a telephone headset, but you should be able to make your own purchase, anywhere you want. You are urged to avoid any job opportunity that asks you to pay a deposit, whether that deposit is for learning materials or “just because.”
You are also advised to be cautious of any job listings that are for work-at-home opportunities. Yes, work-at-home jobs and business opportunities do exist, but most of those opportunities are actually advertised online, not in a newspaper’s employment section. You will want to be cautious of any work-at-home opportunities that say they only have a certain number of openings, like five or more. Many times, these listings are used to get job applicants to act fast and avoid their suspensions in fear of the opportunity being given to someone else. Avoid, at all costs, any job listings that say you can make money stuffing envelops, as this is almost always a scam.
When using your local newspaper, especially one that is a daily newspaper, most of the job listings will be for local jobs. You are advised to find a legitimate job listing, one for a local job, and compare it to one that may raise your suspensions. In most cases, you will find that real, legitimate job listings will contain as much information as possible. Be cautious of any job listing that doesn’t actually explain the job to you or one that also has a 1-800 number listed. 1-800 numbers are common, but they should be accompanied with lots of information.
In short, what you need to remember is that just about anyone can take out space in a newspaper’s employment section. By keeping the above mentioned points in mind, when examining your local newspaper’s employment section, you should be able to spot and avoid employment scams.