Consumer Advocate

Sign up for newsletters and other news
Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > June 2019 > Searching for Jobs? Be Careful Sharing Your Personal Information

Consumer Advocate RSS feeds

Searching for Jobs? Be Careful Sharing Your Personal Information

Searching for a job can be stressful. Scammers often advertise in the same places where legitimate job placement services advertise. In order to protect your personal and financial information during your job search, do the following: know the signs of a scam, properly research job placement services and know what to do if you become a victim of a job scam.

Signs of a Jobs Scam
Here’s how to identify a job scam:
  • You need to pay to get the job. Employers and employment firms should never ask you to pay for certification, training materials or a placement fee.
  • They ask for your credit card or bank account information during the job interview process.
  • The advertisement is for a “previously unavailable” federal government position. Information about available federal jobs is free at
Job Placement Services
Identifying legitimate job placement agencies with real employment opportunities can be difficult. Many job placement services are legitimate, but there are services that will charge you fees to gain access to jobs that have already been filled or that misrepresent jobs that are actually job training.

One of the most important things to know is whether the agency is offering job placement, counseling or training. Job placement is the service you are expecting if you want to be placed into employment. This involves being referred to a specific position for which you are qualified. Job counseling and training could be referrals to classes offered by the company to increase your interpersonal skills, or courses that may require payment for you to prepare for the position without any guarantee of being hired.
Here are a few tips before you engage a job placement service:
  • If the placement service is acting on behalf of a specific company, check with that company first to see if they have hired a job placement service for the position you are seeking.
  • Make sure to get all the details in writing of what the job service will provide.
  • Research the company to see if it is merely a “lead generator.” Lead generators are companies that collect your contact information and then sell it to marketing companies who use it to promote their own services.
  • Check for complaints. You can search for the company’s web address with the terms “review” or “complaint.” You can also check with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office or Better Business Bureau for complaints filed against the company.
If you become a victim of a job scam, you can do the following:
  • Check your credit report at or 877-322-8228 to make sure your personal financial information has not been compromised.
  • Report the company to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or the Federal Trade Commission at
  • Consumers who suspect a scam or who have problems they can’t resolve on their own should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515. The office provides a free informal dispute resolution process to help resolve complaints. It also takes enforcement actions against companies that violate Ohio’s consumer protection laws.