Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content
Image
You're hired! (As soon as you pay up front) That's a scam.

Scammers are using the names of well-known employers to post job openings that don’t exist. The purpose? Tricking you into sending them personal information or money upfront to get the job.

The phony postings are hard to pass up. They offer great pay, telework options, and money to set up a home office. But here’s an example of how the scam works. First, they get your information and send you a check for, say, $4,000. Once the check “clears”, they tell you to keep $1,000 as a salary advance, and send back $3,000 — supposedly to get a computer and office equipment. But the job and the equipment never appear. And sadly, when the bank realizes the check is fake, you’re out of the job and now $3,000 in debt.

To avoid similar job scams:

  • Verify job openings before you apply. Visit the official website for the organization or company you’re applying for. Most include a “career opportunities” or “jobs” section.
  • See what others are saying. Look up the name of the company along with words like “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” The results may include the experiences of others who’ve lost money.
  • Don’t pay for the promise of a job. Legit employers will never ask you to pay to get a job. Anyone who does is a scammer.
  • Never deposit a check from someone you don’t know. An honest employer will never send you a check and then tell you to send them part of the money. That’s a fake check scam.

If you paid a scammer, call the company you used to pay right away (the gift card or money transfer company, for example). Ask them to reverse the charge. To learn more about how to reverse different types of payments, read What to Do If You Were Scammed.

Unsure about where to kick off the job search? Check out a few places to start. Spot a job scam? Tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov

2 Comments


It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

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.

cathy johnston
July 28, 2022

thank you for heads up on job scams!!

Ginger Pugni
July 28, 2022

I constantly get cyber criminals sending me emails messages for my information Some claim to be government officials, the IRS, Amazon, banks re my accounts that I don’t have
I reported it to FTC but they continue because they are never held accountable. They just keep getting away with their crimes destroying other peoples lives. We need severe enforcement for them or they will keep doing it