HR & IT Recruitment Services Remote recruitment & HR services Recruitment subscription About Us Contacts ALL JOBS IT JOBS CV EXAMPLES Our blog 2 Case Studies

How to Spot Fake Job Postings


by Wiktoria Stretskite

Updated: May 20, 2023

When you’ll be looking for new employment opportunities, you might come across fake job ads. Their number has increased after remote work and hybrid work have become commonplace. Scammers resort to fake job posting to get hold of people’s personal information and funds. They might even interview you and start an “onboarding” process to access the coveted information. In this article, we’ll answer the question “What are the ways you can tell the real deal from a fake?” and share advice on finding 100% real vacancies.

What’s the Point of Advertising Fake Jobs?

Organizations and individuals who post vacancies that don’t exist usually do so for the following reasons:

  • Steal third-parties’ money and identities
  • Conduct unethical market research
  • Test job boards and recruitment tools
  • Build a pool of candidates for future use

The last point requires explanation. In the tech industry, there are vacancies that are extremely hard to fill. When a company needs such a candidate, the HR department might spend months looking for them. Some recruiters play an unfair game. They create fake job ads for such vacancies just to collect contacts. When the employer genuinely wants a professional for this role, the HR specialist will get in touch with the candidates from the pool and will quickly find the right match for the vacancy. There is nothing dangerous in this tactic but it’s simply dishonest.

Besides, some employers post fake ads to create an illusion of legitimacy. Imagine that there is an opening in the organization and the management precisely knows which in-house specialist they would like to promote to this role. However, the law and/or the rules of the organization might require an open competition. So the employer posts a vacancy and interviews candidates — and in the end, promotes the in-house specialist.

Tell-Tale Signs of a Fake Job Ad

Here are the symptoms of vacancies that you shouldn’t waste your time on:

  • Misprints and mistakes in texts
  • Vague job title (such as “work in IT with a competitive salary!” instead of “senior data analyst”)
  • Requests to share your payment credentials or send money to someone
  • Messages sent from weird email addresses
  • Generic messages that weren’t purposefully written for you

To check the real email address of an employer, visit the Contacts section of its website. Don’t trust the messages that you receive from private accounts.

As for personalization, a response from a serious company typically contains your name and mentions the position that you apply for.

Scammers might pretend to be well-known recruiters. They can launch websites that mimic the official sites of reputable employers. If you spot someone posting a dummy job opening, don’t hesitate to take action! You can report fake profiles on LinkedIn. Alternatively, you may submit a query to the fill-in form on the real company’s website to inform its managers about their impersonators.

How to Identify Fake Job Offers During an Interview

An interview should seem suspicious to you if it ticks one of these boxes:

  • Takes place on WhatsApp or another casual messenger
  • The HR manager invited you to the interview immediately, without getting to know you better
  • The HR specialist refuses to answer your questions about your future employer and position
  • The offer is too generous to be true

And of course, you should stop the conversation as soon as the HR manager asks you to pay for something or transfer funds somewhere.

Which Details Is It Safe to Share?

At the initial stage of communication, a reputable employer won’t ask you for any sensitive data. The trickiest part begins after you complete the interview and the HR manager confirms that they would like to hire you. Then, they might ask you to share the following details:

  • Social security number
  • Social insurance number
  • Date of birth
  • Banking information

This information is necessary to conduct your background check and set up the payroll.

Ideally, strive to send these details through a secure third-party platform. If you rely on a casual messenger on your smartphone, malicious actors might intercept it.

How to Stay Safe Against Fake Job Scams

If the vacancy was published on the company’s official website or in its official social media profile, you can trust it in most cases. The only exception is the situations when malicious actors hack such sites or social media — but this happens extremely rarely.

If you find a lucrative job opening on a third-party web resource, call the company to make sure they indeed offer it.

Consult with a colleague who works in your niche. Everyone has acquaintances who’re suspicious of everything. What does this person think about the vacancy? Will they recommend you should try it?

Keep monitoring the market. It’s important to be aware of what most employers offer in terms of salary, benefits and working conditions. If a certain organization promises too much, maybe, you shouldn’t trust it.

To play safe, it would be wise to resort to the services of a professional recruiting agency.

How to Select a Credible Recruitment Agency

If your colleagues and acquaintances have already used the services of a certain agency, you might want to get in touch with it too. Otherwise, look for options online. Check the official websites of recruitment agencies and people’s impartial reviews about them on third-party platforms. Pay special attention to negative reviews.

The staff of a credible agency meets the following requirements:

  • Is always polite, punctual, ethical and honest
  • Doesn’t make you spend too much time and effort
  • Respects your privacy
  • Knows the industry and the companies that it works with inside out
  • Is ready to provide exhaustive answers to your questions
  • Never promises too much

A good agency will offer you most vacancies that you can find on job boards plus many other openings that aren’t publicly available. This intermediary knows how to match employers and talents, based on the precise demands of the former and the capabilities of the latter. can serve as an example of a reputable and reliable IT recruitment agency from Poland. Its team consists of committed and experienced professionals who’re genuinely passionate about what they do.

Final Thoughts

When you’ll be looking for a job, remember that not all vacancies are real. People sometimes post fake job ads to get the contacts of talents whom they can get in touch with in the future, conduct unethical marketing research or, in the worst scenario, steal your identity and money. Feel free to use the tips from our article to protect yourself against scammers! To play safe, look for honest employment opportunities through renowned recruitment agencies, such as