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If you’re looking for a job, there are lots of things to think about, from wages and commute time to benefits and employee resources. And, if you identify as LGBTQ+, you might also look for whether a workplace is LGBTQ+ friendly. To make your job search safe and successful, learn how to spot and avoid job scams.

Especially with the ongoing pandemic, lots of people are focusing more on work-from-home jobs. Scammers know this and post the perfect work-from-home jobs, claiming you can be your own boss and set your own schedule, all while making a lot of money in a short amount of time and with little effort. (Sounds great, right?) But when you respond, the scammer will end up asking for your personal information or for money.

How can you avoid these job scams? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re searching:

  • Don’t pay for the promise of a job. Only scammers will ask you to pay to get a job.

  • Do your own research. Look online for independent sources of information. Although the company’s website or ad may show testimonials or reviews from satisfied employees, these may be fake. Instead, look up the name of the company or the person who’s hiring you, plus the words “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.”

  • Take your time. Before you accept an offer or send a potential employer your personal information, run the job offer or posting by someone you trust.

  • Don’t send money “back” to your new boss. Here’s the scene: a potential employer or new boss sends you a check. She asks you to deposit it and then buy gift cards, or send some money back to her — or on to someone else. That, my friend, is a scam. The check may look like it “cleared,” and the funds look available in your account. But that check was fake, and once the bank discovers that, the money is already gone.

As you celebrate Pride, this month and every month, please share this information with your community. And if you come across a job scam, tell us about it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.