For anyone who has been actively seeking employment, finally receiving an email, or phone call, from a recruiter can be a huge relief and reason for excitement. The promise of a new job, especially if it is a good fit, is what every job seeker hopes for.

It isn’t unusual for job candidates to continue to receive emails and calls from recruiters weeks, or even months after accepting a new job. Their information is retained in the databases of all the companies they applied to during their job search. Recruiters that work for those firms have no way of knowing whether the job seeker has been hired, so if they believe a person is qualified for a specific job, they will continue to reach out to the job seeker out for more information.

When a job seeker, or new hire, continues to receive random, unsolicited emails from unknown, unfamiliar sources, they should be alert and attentive for serious warning signs of fraud and employment scams.

What are employment scams? And how can a job seekers protect themselves? How can they know for sure if it is a legitimate or reputable recruiter asking for information?

It all begins when job seekers register with online job websites. They fill out forms, upload their resume, and provide their information to these websites. This data is accessed by recruiters and professionals interested in hiring qualified professionals for their companies. That’s why it’s incredibly important to only upload your information to sites you trust. is a secure, password protected network exclusive to cleared professionals and US-based companies. Broader job boards will include a variety of international and un-vetted users.

Reputable, qualified recruiters search resumes stored on job website databases, and follow up with applicants by calling, or sending email requests, for information regarding a candidate’s availability, professional skills and experience.

Incidences of fraudulent requests for information are on the rise. There are many documented cases of disreputable people and con artists posing as recruiters in order to attempt phishing scams to gain access to personal or financial information. Job seekers, or any person, should be aware and educate themselves in order to be able to spot a scam, and protect themselves from fraud and cyber crimes.

Knowing the warning signs can help prevent job seekers from becoming victims of someone posing as a recruiter in order to lure them into employment offer scams.

Here are a few warning signs of a potential employment scam:

Suspicious job descriptions

A common warning sign of a fraudulent email is a job description that is in no way compatible or similar to your profession or line of work. For instance, if the supposed recruiter, or email inquiry, offers a job involving marketing, sales, or work from home, you should be skeptical and question its authenticity- especially if you have never applied for a job with those qualifications.

Check the email address of the sender

 Most recruiters will have an email address that contains the name of their organization or company, for instance,, instead of a personal Yahoo or Gmail account.

Requests for bank accounts or other financial information

Never, ever, provide any financial information to a recruiter. A reputable recruiter would never ask or require a job candidate to give financial information, such as a bank account number, credit card information, or similar request. All such request should be ignored, and the source of the request should be viewed as criminally suspicious.

Any costs or associated payments for services

Any time a supposed recruiter contacts a job seeker by phone, or email, concerning a job and mentions or asks for compensation or payment, it is a very good indication of a scam.

Additionally, if they mention job-related fees or training costs, a job seeker should cease communication and call the corporate offices. Reputable recruiters don’t ask job seekers for payment. There is never a cost for job placements for potential employees or candidates.

There are ways job seekers can ensure their personal data is stored safely and without risk of identity theft or other security breaches. Applying for jobs on websites that are known to be professional and secure is the safest way for job seekers to keep their personal information safe, and avoid exposing themselves to potential scams and phishing lures.

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Diana M. Rodriguez is a native Washingtonian who works as a professional freelance writer, commentator, and blogger; as well as a public affairs, website content and social media manager for the Department of Defense.