Gone are the days when we automatically grabbed the classifieds section of the local newspaper when looking for a new job. I still recall heading down to the local employment office to search through their list of current jobs and back then I thought it was so cool, that it was all listed on a computer. The sorry part was that the jobs were not as current as you would like it to be and the system itself was very slow and tedious.

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The internet changed the whole job search game, as we now have the latest vacant jobs at the click of a button or link. Within seconds, employers can list their new vacant positions to a world wide audience and just as quickly, job seekers can apply.

Sadly, with technology came the scams. Scammers see job posting seekers as a prime target to prey on, especially since that there’s a sense of desperation when people are looking for work. We get excited when we come across what seems like a dream job and pay little attention to the possibility that it could be a scam. Subconsciously we know it may be too good to be true, but for some reason we tend to ignore what we feel deep inside, until we end up being a victim.

How do you identify online employment scams in 3 simple steps?

Step 1. Go to Google.com or your favorite search engine and search the employer or contact person’s name to see what the results are. Read through a few of them and if there are warnings posted, it will be a clear indication that you must move on and not contact this employer.

Step 2. Go to forums and discussion groups and ask the members if they can share any experience or info on the company. Most discussion groups usually have a search feature. Use that as well. Chances are if there’s something negative about said company, you’ll be able to find it with this method.

Step 3. The Better Business Bureau is your friend. Go online or contact your local branch and investigate if there are any reports on the company. If the scam is new, chances are there’s probably not a report yet. However you still have the two options I mentioned above. I’ve also used the Chamber Of Commerce to see if the company is listed with them, as it’s a sign that they have some level of stability within the community.

If it’s a work at home job you’re looking for, I would start my investigation using the work at home forums, as the members on such discussion groups are always willing to assist and are usually on point, when it comes to identifying scams. Even when they’re fairly new. Also bear in mind that these types of jobs are heavily targeted by scammers, so extra caution is required.

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