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Beware! Scumbags Are Working The Job Market

Ramon Greenwood -- Beware of scam artists who are exploiting those struggling to land a job in these turbulent times. They are stealing identities and collecting fees by offering to land jobs that don't exist.

With other venues for turning a fast illegal buck drying up these criminals are mining the job market.

Surely, there is a special seat reserved in hell for those scumbags who prey on people who are suffering because of they are out of work.

Consumer advocates advise specific steps to take when replying to job ads online to keep from being victimized.

"Put as little personal information (such as your Social Security number your age, driver's license, banking information) as possible on your online resume," says Kayce Ataiyero, columnist for The Chicago Tribune. Use a P.O. Box instead of your home address; open a separate email account.

Don't respond to unsolicited emails or form letters touting ideal jobs and overnight career success.

Check out the potential employer's history. Call the organization to verify its existence and the legitimacy of the offer. The Better Business Bureau is a good source for information. Avoid ads that ask for personal information not usually called for in legitimate job offers.

Back away in a hurry from those asking for an upfront payment for training or background checks and other services before a face-to-face job interview. Have you ever encountered a legitimate employer who did that? Don't pay for help in getting a government job.

Don't be scammed by guarantees of employment and salaries that are just too good to be legitimate. Be wary of offerings for jobs overseas.

Run up the red flag when you see misspelled words and grammatical errors. Same goes for cock-eyed language. Printed signature indicate a mass mailing.

Career Tip : "The bottom line: don't let eagerness or desperation to get a job cloud your judgment," advises Ms. Ataiyero. "Scrutinize the ad and investigate the company to help prevent" a rip-off.

Your first and best line of defense against scammers is your own common sense. If their enticements seem to be too good to be true, they probably are.

Learn how to protect and advance your career in tough times. For career advice, subscribe to Ramon Greenwood's free semi-monthly newsletter, The Career Accelerator (c) at As a bonus you'll receive the 16-page ebook, How to Get a Raise (c). For much more free career coaching, visit Your Blog for Career Advice and Greenwood's career counseling comes from a world of experience, including serving as Senior Vice President of American Express, an entrepreneur, professional director, career coach, and author.

© 2009 Ramon Greenwood

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