Are you in need of a new job? Before you scan the classified section in your local newspaper or search online, you need to read this article!

Thieves know you are vulnerable during a job search, so they are using employment scams to make their money off of your circumstances. You’ll see these scam ads blended into many of the places that a legitimate potential employer would use to advertise a job opening. It’s important to keep these tips in mind when you decide whether to explore and/or apply for the position.

  • The company requires a fee up front.

    The “fee” may be mentioned as a requirement for training or certification purposes, and it could be legitimate, but the risk is that you pay the fee and the job doesn’t materialize. Then you’re left not only without a job, but without the money you’ve put into this scam. To avoid being a victim of something like this, utilize online employer review sites, such as Glassdoor, to read first-hand feedback from employees on their experiences and salary range. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to search for any complaints made by customers and/or employees about a company.

  • The company requires you to provide personally identifiable information (PII).

    It’s common that many legitimate companies ask for PII after an offer of employment is made. While most of the time it’s to take actions like running a background check, make sure that you have done proper research on the company before you share PII or your bank account information. Anything an employer requests from you should be in writing and they should disclose how the PII will be used then securely stored and/or destroyed.

  • The company guarantees you a quick, high-paying income.

    Everyone wants to make a quick and easy buck, especially if you are currently unemployed. Scammers will use a ‘get rich quick’ tactic to bait you in. To avoid being a victim of this type of scam, research the company’s reputation, consider the position and number of people in the company you speak to during the interview process and make sure everything discussed in terms of pay and commitment is documented in writing.

Visit the Federal Trade Commission for more tips on how to spot and report employment scams.