When you’re job hunting, you might see a listing for a job that looks perfect for you. Maybe it’s a work-from-home position that offers great benefits and good pay. Or, maybe it’s a role with a high-profile company that you’ve always wanted to work for. Whatever it may be, it’s simply too good to be true.
The person who posted the listing tells you that your dream job is just an interview away. You take the interview and give the poster your address so they can mail you a check to start buying the equipment you need from the company’s approved vendors.
Then, things take a dark turn. You’ve fallen prey to an employment scam, and you’re about to lose a lot of money.
You get those checks from your employer and you deposit them into the bank. Then, your new boss begins to pressure you to buy your equipment from their preferred vendors right away. Hurry up so you can start on your agreed-upon start date! Don’t worry about the cost, your employer will reimburse you! You have full confidence in your boss because this is your dream job.
It’s finally all coming together. You send off the money for the laptop and other equipment you’re going to need on your job. You know that fronting a bit of money isn’t a problem, because you have a great new job that’s going to pay you back just as soon as those checks clear.
Then the checks don’t clear. Then your boss disappears from the weird chat app your new employers had you download. Then you get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. There was no company. There was no vendor. You fell prey to a con artist and your money is gone. Your hopes are shattered, and you’re still looking for a job. Now you’re also a few hundred bucks poorer.
If your potential employer wants you to buy things from a “preferred vendor,” insist on using the company card for it. Alternatively, you can wait until the check they send actually clears before authorizing any payments. It’s hard to make these calls when you’re trying to scramble to meet your start date, though. When you think you’re fighting for your dream job, you might not be making the best decisions.
The trick is to remember that no real job is going to make you spend your own money before you even start working there and get a paycheck.