- A "promise" is a red flag. The FTC is clear on this first one: Reject any firm that promises you employment. Nobody, and certainly no third-party firm, can promise you a job.
- Be skeptical. Any firm that charges you cash before you find work, even if it offers a refund if you don't find work, should be avoided. And never give your debit card or credit card information to job-search companies.
- Read the fine print. Always know the terms and conditions on any contract with a job-search firm where you pay a fee for a job -- if you find work. The FTC says it is critical to "make sure you understand what services the firm will provide and what you'll be responsible for doing. If oral promises are made, but don't appear in the contract, think twice about doing business with the firm."
- Watch out for a bait-and-switch. Be careful with placement services that write ads that sound like they offer jobs, when all they're really doing is "selling general information" about a job, the FTC advises.
- Don't fall for government job scams. Any outside firm promising "previously undisclosed" jobs with Uncle Sam is surely a crock. By law, all government jobs are disclosed to the public via USAjobs.gov.
- Double-check job firms. Don't assume anything when it comes to job placement firms. Any such firm that wants your business warrants a check with the Better Business Bureau, your state attorney general office or with a local consumer protection agency.
8 Ways the Job Scammers Get You
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