Navigating Job Search Safely: Unmasking Fraud and Scams

Published on 1/15/2024 by Jimmy Hurff

In the digital age, job seekers must tread carefully to avoid falling victim to fraudulent activities and scams. Applying for a new job can be an exciting yet vulnerable experience, making it crucial to be vigilant and informed. This article serves as a guide to help you discern legitimate job opportunities from potential scams.

Identifying Legitimate Job Postings

When perusing job listings, it's essential to develop a keen eye for distinguishing genuine opportunities from fraudulent ones. Here are some tips to help you verify the legitimacy of a job posting:

Research the Company

  • Before applying, research the hiring company. Legitimate employers have a solid online presence, including a professional website and active social media profiles.
  • Verify the company's physical address, contact information, and reviews from current or former employees on reputable platforms.
  • Verify the recruiter your speaking with is affiliated with the company.
  • Great resources for this kind of research are the professional career sites, and
  • If you want to check the age and history of a company's website, a great resource for this is the Wayback Machine.
Be wary of companies that do not have much of an online presence or a presence that is very new.  It is a common for scammers to spin up new, fake websites as part of their scamming process to point potential victims to.

Check the Job Description

  • Be wary of vague job descriptions or promises that sound too good to be true.
  • Be wary of job postings that have typos, misspellings or bad grammar.
  • Be wary of job postings that have long periods of unpaid training.
  • Legitimate postings provide clear details about job responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations.

Examine the Email Address

  • Legitimate job postings typically use professional email addresses associated with the company's domain.
  • Be cautious if the email address seems generic or uses a free email service like or
Sometimes scammers will use domains which are adjacent or close in spelling to a legitimate company domain, like or  They do this as a way to scam you into believing they are affiliated with a real company.  Be wary of domains which are not the exact company domain that you are applying with.

What Information to Share and Avoid

Job seekers often provide personal information during the application process, making it crucial to be cautious about the details you disclose. Follow these guidelines to protect your sensitive information:

Safe to Share

  • Resume: Share your professional resume highlighting your skills and experience.
  • Professional Network Profiles: Provide links to your LinkedIn or other professional networking profiles.

Avoid Sharing

  • Financial Information: Legitimate employers do not ask for payment or financial information during the hiring process.
  • Personal Identification: Avoid sharing your social security number, bank details, or other sensitive personal information in the initial stages.
At BrightMove, we never request financial information or confidential personal details like your social security number or birth date during the interview process.

What to Do If You Suspect a Scam

If you suspect you've encountered a fraudulent job posting, take immediate action to safeguard yourself:

Cease Communication

  • Stop any communication with the potentially fraudulent employer. Do not provide further information.

Report the Scam

  • Report the suspicious job posting to the platform where you found it. This helps protect other job seekers from falling victim to the same scam.
  • The FTC has a fraud report service

Contact Authorities

  • If you've shared sensitive information and suspect identity theft, contact your local authorities and relevant agencies to report the incident.
  • Here is a link to look up your attorney general by location

Other Resources

The FTC has a wealth of information online about how to protect yourself against job scams


In the vast landscape of job opportunities, staying vigilant is key to avoiding scams. By researching companies, scrutinizing job descriptions, and being mindful of the information you share, you can navigate the job market safely. If you encounter a potential scam, take swift action to protect yourself and others. A cautious approach ensures that your job search journey is not only exciting but also secure.

About the Author, Jimmy Hurff

Jimmy is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for leading business transformations. Over his 25+ year career, Jimmy has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of engineering, data analytics, security, compliance & business transformation. Starting in 1995, Jimmy worked with his best friend, David Webb, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. From then to now, Jimmy has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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