This Company Wants Money Before They'll Hire Me, Is It A Scam?

Reader Alexis wants to know if it’s standard practice to pay for your own “background check” in order to be hired for a job. She received an email after responding to a legit-sounding seasonal employment ad on craigslist. In the email, the “Head of Recruitment,” asks for money in order to perform a background check and to “demonstrate that you are serious about this position and that what you have submitted so far is correct.”

Alexis asks:

I don’t think so.. Did I miss the memo? Is this now common practice?

We’re going to go ahead and say “no.” This is not common practice. It sounds awfully shady to us and according to the Denver Post, it’s illegal to charge a fee for a job in some states.

Here are some popular job search scam warning signs compiled by the attorney general of Tennessee. Watch out for:

*Anyone charging for information about government jobs;
*A guarantee of a job if the consumer purchases study or other materials;
*Career counseling agencies which promise to get you a job;
* Employment agencies requesting you to pay them before they find you a job;
*Agencies touting “hidden” jobs and connections no one else has to those jobs;
*High pressure sales tactics pressuring you to “buy now,” and
*Vague answers to important questions you ask, or no answers at all.

Job search scams can be quite serious and financially devastating. In some cases, they are complicated phishing scams in which your prospective “employer” convinces you to divulge your bank details and other financial information. Others convince you to purchase a license or materials before beginning work — and of course the work never comes.

Employment Scams [ICCC]
(Photo: Getty)