We all know that scammers will stop at nothing to do what they do best…to scam. The most common way that scammers get people is through the phone. They call you with the most absurd thing and we fall into it, giving our information to these scammers so they can profit off of our pain. Another way these scammers are scamming (something that I am very familiar with) is through job applications. Yes, you heard that right…Job applications.

Say you are just trying to find a job in the middle of a pandemic and you’re getting desperate, so you start applying to anything. Turns out, some of those applications are being sent to people who posted a fake job! How could you have known, though? Everything looked legit on the job posting. Well, once the scammers contact you, that’s when you should really be cautious.

How to Spot a Job Application Scam

Help Wanted sign posted on office building window
Help Wanted sign posted on office building window

Last week, I was caught up in a scam. I was doing what many people in the United States are doing right now, applying to jobs. I found a Personal Assistant job that seemed perfect. Like too good to be true. So, I applied thinking “Why not just try it out?” Not even two minutes after the “employer” viewed my application, they sent me a message on LinkedIn saying that they were interested in an interview, but they needed some information before continuing.

Red flag!

Now, this was my first time encountering someone who needed more information than what was on my resume, so I was curious. They told me to send over my personal information like address, email, and phone number to a personal email of their “assistant.”

Another red flag!

Wasn’t I the one applying to be an assistant? Yes, but I was still curious…so I proceeded. I figured if it’s already on my very public resume, what harm could be done? After I sent that basic information over to the sketchy personal email, I waited for all of 5 minutes before I got a reply. The reply was all over the place…there were grammatical errors, I was hired on the spot without an interview or even a question of who I am, and they were asking me for my bank information and credit score.

What did I do? I said, “I’m no longer interested” and went on with my day, baffled that even happened. Scammers these days are getting clever. So, make sure you are prepared to look at the details to prevent getting scammed when you thought you were getting a job. Here are a few things to look out for:

If they contact you first

Most of the time, with legit jobs, you apply for the job you wish to work. The employer contacts you in regard to an interview and it goes smoothly from there. But if you get a random email or text message one day saying that a company found your resume and are interested in an interview, 9 times out of 10 they’re just scammers. Or they’re a real job, but with a crappy pay and position that you’ll be stuck in forever.


It’s easy to know when something is a scam if they just didn’t take the time to word things correctly. That’s how I was able to detect that job being a total scam. Grammatical errors are a big thing. When they send you an email or text, look at the capitalized lettering, phrasing, and even the spacing. Anything that might be off or unprofessional looking, count it as a scam.


One of the BIGGEST signs of a scam is the email the scammer is emailing from. Normally, it’s emails that look to be personal. Sometimes they add a business or company in the email, but something about it looks off. Instead of @businessname.com it’s @business-name.com. Do not trust them!

When they ask for money related things

Anything – and I mean anything – money related without a contract first is a no, no. If they are asking for your credit score, your bank information, your social security number or anything of the sort, in an email and not in official documents…DO NOT TRUST THEM! They are just after your money.

I hope that some of these tips can help you avoid all the scammers out there.

Have you encountered any scams when applying for jobs? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.