How to Report a Job Scam

What to Do If You Become a Victim of a Fake Online Job

Road sign that reads "scam alert" against a blue sky background.

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More people get caught in job and employment Internet scams each day. Scammers try to fraudulently get you to wire money or collect your personal information, or attempt any one of a variety of other job scams designed to take advantage of job hunters seeking to find employment online.

A red flag is prospective employers who seem desperate to hire you and indiscriminate about your qualifications. If the opportunity seems too good to be true, then there's a chance that it's not legitimate.

Types of Online Job Scams

For example, you might be told that you will receive $490 per week. Then you receive another email saying that there was a mistake and the company accidentally sent you $3,200. When you receive the check, you're supposed to wire the rest of the money to someone else. That could be an attempt to get you to part with your money. The check from the company won't clear, and you'll have already wired the money to a third party.‚Äč

This is only one example of the many ways scammers prey on people seeking employment. Some of these scams are complicated, and it can be easy to think they are legitimate. There are warning signs to help you navigate your decision about whether a job posting is legitimate. Keeping them in mind is essential.

How to Report a Scam

What should you do if you've been scammed or almost scammed? Here's how to report a scam, including where and how to report an employment scam.

1. File a Report With the Internet Crime Complaint Center 

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The Internet Crime Complaint Center accepts online Internet crime complaints. To file a report, you'll need to provide the following information:

  • Your name, mailing address, and telephone number.
  • The name, address, telephone number, and web address, if available, of the individual or organization you believe defrauded you.
  • Specific details on how, why, and when you believe you were defrauded.

2. File a Report With the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency, collects complaints about companies, business practices, and identity theft.

3. Report the Company to the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Enter the company name or the website into the Better Business Bureau search box to find out whether there have been complaints and whether the company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau. You can file your complaint online.

4. Report a Fraudulent Website to Google

If you believe you've encountered a website that is designed to look like a legitimate website in an attempt to steal users' personal information, there is a form that allows you to report it to Google.

5. Report a Fraudulent Advertisement to the Site Where it is Listed

You can also report a scam job posting directly to the site where it is listed. For example, on Indeed you can report a scam job directly from the listing. Just scroll to the bottom of the listing and click on the link that says, "report job."