5 ways you can spot a fake job offer on LinkedIn

Exercise great caution when applying for jobs online as there many bad actors. Picture: Geralt/Pixabay

Exercise great caution when applying for jobs online as there many bad actors. Picture: Geralt/Pixabay

Published Apr 9, 2024


With over 61 million job applications received on LinkedIn every week, the chance of falling victim to bogus job offers has increased dramatically.

Amidst all the real job prospects, there is an increasing number of bogus job offers intended to deceive and exploit naive people. These fake posts can result in identity theft, financial frauds, or exposure to cyber risks.

Trevor Cooke, EarthWeb’s online privacy specialist, exposes the warning signals of phoney employment offers and offers advice on how to protect yourself.

Unrealistic job descriptions

A job description that is extremely ambiguous or unrealistic is one of the first signs of a fraudulent employment offer.

Scammers frequently utilise generic language or promise exaggerated incentives to entice prospects. Be sceptical of job advertising that promise big pay or quick career advancement with minimum qualifications.

A job posting for an entry-level position that offers an extremely high income and extravagant benefits without requiring any relevant experience is most certainly false.

Unprofessional communication

Legitimate employers communicate professionally throughout the employment process. If you receive badly written emails with grammatical problems or imprecise responses to your concerns, this may be a red sign.

Authentic employers communicate effectively and professionally, providing specific information about the job and the organisation.

An email from a putative hiring manager that contains multiple spelling errors and lacks meaningful sentences should raise concerns about the genuineness of the job offer.

Immediate requests for personal information

Be wary of employment offers that want critical personal information upfront, such as your ID number or bank account information.

Legitimate employers often seek this information later in the hiring process, after building trust and making a formal job offer.

A job application form that asks for your bank account and passport information before you have even had an interview is most certainly a scam.

Suspicious company profiles

Before applying for a job posting, extensively study the company to ensure its credibility.

Look for discrepancies in the company’s profile, such as missing contact information, incomplete personnel biographies, or a lack of internet presence. Scammers may construct fictitious company profiles to trick job hunters.

A corporate profile on LinkedIn with few connections, little recent activity, and no employee evaluations or recommendations could suggest a bogus organisation.

Pressure to act quickly

Fake job offers frequently convey a sense of urgency, urging people to accept offers or disclose personal information quickly. Authentic employers recognise the value of giving candidates time to examine job offers and do due diligence.

If you feel rushed or under pressure to make a decision, proceed with care.

For example, an email urging you to accept a job offer soon or risk losing the opportunity could be a scammer’s attempt to influence candidates.