My husband got a call from his friend who was very excited to share that he’d just been offered a very lucrative job. My husband congratulated him and jokingly said “Hey, maybe you can get me a job there too!” When he got off the phone he shared with me exactly how lucrative the job offer was including an outrageous signing bonus and a very high salary. He was ready to accept the job offer, was planning on telling his current employer the next day, and had already getting rid of his stuff in preparation for a move overseas for his new job.

I was skeptical so I started asking questions about this job offer. And then I googled “COMPANY NAME job scam” to see what would pop up. The company had a web page dedicated to “Email scam” and describe in detail how it usually occurs. They said “fraudsters use our COMPANY name to solicit job applications, contract proposals, investment opportunities, or personal information and requests the victims to provide funds or personal information for job-applications, visas, processing fees, or investments.” The continue to say “communications from any source other than an “” domain site should be treated suspiciously.”

I alerted my husband to call his friend back and ask him what email address the job offer came from and to warn him that this might be a job scam! The email he received was not from the domain site – but from the domain with extra stuff added to the end. So it looked official, but it was not. He called the company’s hiring office to ask about the job offer he received by email, and they confirmed that it was a job scam and he should ignore it.

He was grateful that we warned him to scrutinize this job offer and check to make sure it’s legitimate. None of his othe friends were suspicious and simply congratulated him.

3 Ways to Spot a Job Scam:

So here’s what I learned about how to spot a job scam, because it could happen to me or someone I know!

1. They Contact You (and you didn’t apply for the specific job they are contacting you about)

Keep track of the jobs you apply for by keeping a log. This will help you identify any job scams quickly because usually the scam job offer is for a job you never applied for. So our friend had previously applied for a position at the COMPANY but hadn’t applied for any positions recently. Scammers probably didn’t know this, but because they knew his current job title, they could have guessed which companies he’d be interested in working for.

2.  The Job Offer is Too Good to be True

It it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not true! This idiom applies to job offers too. If the salary offer is very high and they include an outrageous signing bonus then you need to really triple check that it’s a real job offer by independently verifying it. This means you call the company’s headquarters or hiring office and ask them about your specific job offer.

3.  Email Address is Suspicious

It’s easy to check the email address by visiting the company’s website. It must exactly match the company’s official email structure because it’s too easy for scammers to set-up fake domains and email addresses with the company’s name plus extra stuff after the company’s name.

I hope these tips are helpful and if you have any other tips to share please feel free to leave a comment on this post!