Bad Boys of Craigslist
Internet Classified Ads
Craigslist publishes many classified ads free of charge. It can be a good place to sell unwanted items, locate rental apartments, automotive parts, and many other items. Jobs are also advertised on Craigslist, but remember, you are not able to see their business establishment or meet with them in person.
After a worrisome 'help wanted' experience, I have become leery about replying to any such ads. Of course, the first step required that a resume be submitted. Virtually instantly, I received a reply that I was hired. The job was titled as an 'administrative assistant' and offered decent pay. The only requirement was to place the same ad at other U.S. states/cities, even worldwide. Too easy, right?
I learned quickly that desperate job hunters readily would provide personal information (just as I had done), and sensed that something was wrong with this picture. I didn't know what this seedy person/company intended to do with people's information, and became alarmed when they refused to answer my questions. Evidently, the job was non-existent, and no one was going to get paid. This is not to suggest that all advertisements on Craigslist are scams, and most likely many transactions are valid and go smoothly.
However, danger can be waiting for you at the click of your mouse. Many scams derive from similar cookie-cutter molds. Browse through the hundreds of job listings, and you'll begin to notice similarities and vague descriptions. Easy money and telecommuting can be attractive to moms wanting to work from home, retirees, or economically challenged families.
Administrative Assistant and Customer Service employment ads seem to be common on Craigslist. Most often the ads will contain language to the effect:
Telecommuting is OK. This entices people wanting to work from their home offices.
Specifics about job location are missing.
The listing suggested attractive compensation, like $15.00 to $35.00 per hour. This tidbit attracts many people looking to improve personal financial situations, and can generate numerous resume submissions.
Many job advertisements indicate “No Experience Is Necessary.” This could be a big caution sign! Would anyone actually offer high salaries to people having no experience in a particular career field?
Ads containing too many exclamation points and too much hype should be avoided.
Some advice to protect yourself from scams are provided:
Trust your instincts.
Ask question and try to find out who you are dealing with.
Never give out checking account or social security information.
Personal experience regarding confirmation requests concerning validity about the advertised position, produced uncomfortable feelings. Evasive and incomplete answers, or no replies at all, have caused me to shy away and discontinue using their service.
Remember, your resume contains a wealth of personal information. Basically, your life's history is laid out for anyone to see. Names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses are right up front for the taking. Approach self-exposure cautiously.
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