WPF Resources Page: Job Scams


What are job scams?

Job scams are fake job ads circulated by fraudsters that seek to lure job seekers to give up personal data and/or perform a fake job. The World Privacy Forum researched and published the first major report on job scams in 2004. The report tracked a job scam over the course of a year and tracked its known victims. Since the original report was published, job scams have evolved.

In 2004, the World Privacy Forum was working to make the case that job scams existed and were harming job seekers. In 2013, job scams are much better known and most job sites have long since admitted that job scams do occur and are posting notices for consumers about the problem. Another change is that the job scams have generally gotten more sophisticated and can be difficult for the average job seeker to detect.

However, what has not changed is the basic, underlying mechanism of how the scams work and how much harm they can cause to innocent victims. All job seekers need to educate themselves about job scams to save themselves the heartache and expense of being victimized.


World Privacy Forum Documents about Job Scams

CONSUMER TIPS: Critical Tips For Job Seekers to Avoid Job Scams

These reality-based consumer tips are simple and are based on research from the key findings in the World Privacy Forum Job Scam Report. The Consumer Tips include “Red flags” to recognize scams and a step-by-step explanation and illustration using real examples of how one type of scam operates.

Read the tips


REPORT: A Year in the Life of a Job Scam: The World Privacy Forum Job Scam Report

This report tracks a widespread online job scam over the course of a year from July 2003 to July 2004. The report contains findings, recommendations, critical new tips for job seekers, and examples and explanations of the scam in action (emails to victims, contracts, etc.). This report was the first known privacy and job scam longitudinal research, and broke important new ground in best practices at online job search sites.

Download the report (PDF)

Read the report


REPORT: Timeline: The Evolution of an Online Job Scam

This visual timeline chronicles a year of a job scam. The timeline documents the cities the fake jobs were targeting, dates the jobs posted, the various company names the scam operated under, and the contact names used in the scam. The job scam timeline is documented with screen shots of the job listings and how they looked as posted. Click on the PDFs linked in the timeline to bring up a copy of the fake jobs.

  • Note: This resource is offline until we are able to migrate it to WordPress format. If you need to see this resource, please email us for a PDF copy. (September, 2013).

Read the report


Other Job Scam Resources

These are additional resources to help understand and identify job scams.

Federal Trade Commission: Federal and Postal Job Scams …. Tip-Offs to Rip Offs

Federal Trade Commission: FTC’s Job Scam Page

Federal Trade Commission: En Espanol

Riley Guide: Scams & Schemes in Work and Employment Services

Overseas Digest: Avoiding overseas job scams