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How to Avoid Recruiting Scams While on the Job Search

Searching for a new job has never been easier with job board sites like Indeed, Glassdoor and CareerBuilder. With the click of a button, you can search for openings in your area that fit your interests.

But like anything in today’s digital world, job posts also susceptible to scams — especially during the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. Fraudsters pose as real recruiters and post fake job listings, intended to steal and use your personal information.

So, how can you tell if a job you’re applying for is legit? Here are seven ways to spot a fake posting or phony recruiter so you can search with peace of mind.

  1. Where does the post link take you? – Generally, all job postings will bring you to the company’s website or applicant tracking system (ATS). Most companies include their ATS name in the URL, for example “”. Other common ones are Taleo, Jobvite, Workday, ICIMS, and Kenexa-Brassring. If you don’t see the company’s name in the URL, that could be a sign of a fake posting.
  2. Where was the job advertised? – There are TONS of job boards and websites, and more that pop up each day. Make sure to use a reputable site like Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, CareerBuilder, SimplyHired, Dice, LinkUp, or Upwork. If you don’t recognize the job board, do some research online and read reviews to determine if it’s a credible site.
    Still, fraudsters do post fake listings — especially on bigger sites where it’s harder to weed out bad postings. They also reach out via direct message, pretending to be recruiters.
  3. Does the application ask me for money? – This is a huge red flag. No online job application or recruiter should EVER ask you for credit card information in order to process the application. Some fraudsters claim they need money to obtain visas or process immigration documents. If your job application solicits money, close it out and contact the company to make them aware of the fraud.
  4. Am I asked to give sensitive personal information? – Real postings should not ask for sensitive information, such as your driver’s license, social security or credit card number. Fake listings often have multiple pop-up boxes requesting such sensitive information.
    On a typical Citizens application, we ask your address and if you're 18 years old or older to validate you’re old enough to work. Later, if you are offered a job here, you will have to provide information like a driver’s license or SSN and date of birth to go through our background check process. But that will occur after the initial application process. You should never share this information until you have personally interacted with a representative or recruiter from the company.
  5. Is there a company profile associated with the posting? – When companies post employment opportunities on third-party job boards, it is almost always accompanied by their company logo. A familiar logo is an indication of a legit posting. Be on the lookout for logos on your postings, like ours below on Glassdoor.
  6. Does the posting have spelling or grammar errors? – Fake or fraudulent postings often have numerous spelling and grammar mistakes — a tell-tale sign of a phony source. Look for these errors when scanning the job description. Additionally, postings that are vague or don’t have a full description may be a scam.
    Legitimate job postings generally have a detailed description of the role. This likely includes an intro about the company or team, a section that outlines the role and responsibilities and an experience or qualifications section.
  7. Did I receive a legitimate email confirmation? – After you apply to a job, you should receive an email confirmation from the company’s applicant tracking system. The email address should include the company’s name, and may include the name of the ATS they use.
    After you successfully apply to Citizens, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Citizens Bank Careers ( This is what it will look like if you apply:

Asking yourself these 7 questions can help mitigate fraud, but it’s not foolproof. Scammers try new practices every day, so trust your gut instinct. If the posting doesn’t feel real, it probably isn’t.

The safest way to apply to Citizens Bank is right here on our career site. Click below to explore our open roles and apply today.

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