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9 Tips to Identify Fake Job Listings on Craigslist

Anyone can post a job on Craigslist. That's one of the great things about Craigslist. It's also the worst thing about Craigslist. There are a heck of a lot of spammers on Craigslist posting fake jobs all the time. In fact, there are even freelance jobs out there for posting spam jobs on Craigslist. You need to be very careful when searching for a job, and make sure that any job that you are applying for is totally legit. Here are 9 tips to identify a fake job listing on Craigslist:

1. Look Out For Poor English: Companies usually have people with pretty decent writing skills to write their job listings on Craigslist. If the English is particularly bad with poor word choice and sentence structure, then that is a sure sign that it is probably a spam post.

2. Don't Give Away Your Financial Information: If anyone asks for your personal or credit card information right off the bat, then that is surely a shady sign of a possible identity theft attempt. Never give away your financial information unless you've secured the job or appeared for an interview.

3. Stay Away From Absurdly High Pay: Nobody's going to give $75,000 per year with very little work and no previous work experience (yes, there are fake job listings like this on Craigslist). Trust your instincts and never go in for any job that offers absurdly high pay. If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

4. Check if it is a Real Company: If there's no clear company name mentioned anywhere in the job listing, then it's most probably a spam listing. If there's a company name mentioned, Google that company to find out if it really exists. If you can't find anything more than a Facebook page and a LinkedIn page for the company, then stay away. At the very least, it should have a professional-looking website. Remember that it's really easy for anyone to fake an identity on social media websites.

5. It's a Work-at-Home Job: There are very few work-at-home jobs out there that are actually legit. Unless you are absolutely sure that it is legit, it is safe to never go in for any work-at-home job.

6. Vagueness: If the job listing is just too vague, and if it has a link directing you to another website, then that is surely a spam listing. They're just looking for your click. Real companies will post their entire job description to Craigslist and be as detailed as possible.

7. Call Them: If you have any doubts, then it's always great to phone the company to ask more details about the job. If there's actually a real person picking up the phone (and it's not a fake phone number), then you can already be half-assured that the job is legitimate. To be absolutely sure, however, pry a little bit more and looks for signs of unprofessionalism. If they're dodging your questions and speaking on their own terms and promoting their own company, then there's a good chance that there's no real company at all. Just use your instincts and you should be safe.

8. Protect Your Resume: Your resume contains a lot of information about you - information that could potentially be used for identity theft. Don't send your resume unless you are totally sure that the job listing is legit.

9. Get Agreements in Writing: Before you finally get to work, make sure you get an agreement signed in writing. This ensures that they will surely pay you as promised. It also reassures them of your own legitimacy and commitment to the job, since you're signing the paper too.

Bottom line:

As long as you follow the above advice and trust your gut, you should be able to land a great real job on Craigslist and avoid all the fake ones. Proceed with caution and be vigilant. Happy job-hunting!

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