Finding a legitimate job

. Where are they located? How long have they been in business? Who runs them?
  • If they're international employers, find out where they're based. Does this employer exist? Where are they based? If they're in Eastern Europe, particularly Rumania, or in the Asian region, particularly the Philippines, be extremely suspicious. These places are Scam Central.
  • Find out what the job is, exactly. If it's not specified, be highly suspicious. Legitimate jobs aren't a secret.
  • Verify the stated terms of employment. Pay, place of employment, nature of employment, packages, conditions and the other natural information should be there. If they're not, forget it. Even the most inept advertiser knows to include these basics.
  • Checking out job ads

    Further checks on legitimate jobs are sometimes very useful, and can give you a lot of information for the price of a phone call:

    • Call the employer.

    Ask some obvious questions about pay, place of work, conditions and any ad issues that are bothering you. If you get an evasive answer, move on.

    • Call an industry association, if appropriate.

    What do they know about the employer? Are they a member of the industry association? (Most employers, in all industries, belong to several associations.)

    After you've investigated the employer, and if they check out, you can lodge an application and know you're going for a real job.

    Stay alert

    In the haze of the job search, doing a lot of applications, don't get careless. Always take the time to check out the basics of any job ad, particularly where you're not sure what the job is about. Being suspicious can avoid some nasty possibilities with job scams.

    Real employers have no difficulty answering all the basic questions. They're in the phone book, and they put their real names on job ads. They operate like real businesses. Legitimate jobs have nothing to hide. That's the difference.