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How to Decipher a Fake Job Posting from a Real One

 The job search process has gone entirely online in the new digital world. Therefore, it is easy for scammers to publish fake job postings on job posting sites such as LinkedIn and Indeed.    

In research from LexisNexis, they found that the number of fake job postings in March 2021 was 2,900, which rose to 36,350 in October 2021. With 30,000 new fake job postings in seven months, it won’t be surprising if this number continues to grow.    

Learning how to decipher an actual job posting from a fake one will be instrumental in a successful job search.    

Here is some advice for deciphering a fake job posting from a real one.    


Detecting a Fake Job Ad

Anytime you look at any job posting for the first time, take the time to break apart the post. Simple pieces of information in the original job post might tip you off if this post is real or not.    

In your initial scan of the job posting, do you notice:   

If the first view of the job posting doesn’t appear to be fake, then more in-depth research is required. 

Investigating the Company

Start your research by searching the company to see if they have a website or a solid social media presence. Individuals can also use LinkedIn to look for individuals who work for the company. However, be aware that researching the company is not a full-proof method for determining if the job post is a scam or not.   

An April 2021 warning from the FBI reported that scammers are making fake duplicates of a legitimate company’s website with phony job postings to gather individuals’ personal information. For instance, one scammer made a fake website for Spirit airlines, in which they asked job applicants to upload front and back images of their driver’s licenses.     

Actual job postings will never ask for one’s social security number, driver’s license, credit card information, or payment in any form.   

You can avoid falling for a fake website by googling only the company’s name and seeing if multiple websites are appearing for the same company. If you suspect a fraudulent job posting, Google the company’s name followed by the word “scam” to see if other people have experienced a scam from that company. Another method is by checking out the company on Glassdoor, which contains employee reviews and company information.   

In addition to researching the company, try to find the recruiter’s profile on the job posting site. The FBI recommends that if the individual doesn’t have a profile on the site or if it doesn’t seem to match their job titles, then it is likely that the job posting is a scam.    

Warning Signs in the Interview

For those who missed these signs in the job ad, there are warning signs in the interview phase one should look for. For instance, if an individual is interviewing for the job, check for these warning signs:   

If you think the job ad is a scam, then proceed with applying for a job from a posting you trust.     


While the job search process is long and arduous, one does not need the added strain of being scammed.  Be prepared and do due diligence throughout your job search so that you won’t fall into a job scam scheme.    

Warning Signs