Protecting yourself online during your job search

Job hunting can be a daunting and time-consuming task, causing stress for many job seekers. However, some job seekers may face additional challenges when searching for jobs online, such as the risk of falling prey to fraudulent employment opportunities. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, employment scams are one of the most common types of fraud reported in Canada. In 2020, the Centre received 1,301 reports of employment fraud, with total reported losses of over $3.2 million. The scams noted often involve requests for personal information or upfront payments and can lead to identity theft or financial loss. When searching for jobs, it’s crucial to exercise caution and take steps to protect yourself from potential scams. To this end, here are some suggestions to keep in mind: 

  • Use reputable job search websites: Stick to well-known and trusted job search websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor. Be wary of any websites that ask for personal information upfront or charge a fee to view job postings. 
  • Be cautious about the information you share online: When applying for jobs, only provide the necessary information, such as your name, email address, and phone number. Avoid sharing sensitive information like your social security number or home address until you’ve been offered a job. If you use social media, be cautious about what you post online, not only to present a professional image to potential employers, but also to safeguard your personal information. 
  • Look at the job description: One indication that a job opportunity may be fraudulent is the use of unprofessional spelling or language. If you notice that common words and phrases are mixed up, or if the sender uses different colors or fonts, it’s likely that the opportunity is a scam. Genuine companies typically take care to present themselves and their positions in a positive light, and will ensure that their communications look professional. 
  • Research potential employers before applying: Look up the company’s website and read reviews from current and former employees to ensure that it’s a legitimate and reputable organization. 
  • Be cautious of unsolicited job offers: If you receive an unexpected job offer, do some research on the company and the person who contacted you before providing any personal information or accepting the offer. 
  • Trust your instincts: If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and don’t proceed with the job application or interview. 

Other tools to help you stay safe online:  

  • You can check the age of a company’s website by using the Whois Lookup domain tracker This tool provides information on the domain name’s registration, including the name of the registrant, location, and the duration for which the website has been active. 
  • Validate company website with Google Safe Browser Transparency Report: The Google Safe Browsing Transparency Report allows you to paste a website URL into a field, and it gives you a report on whether you can trust that website. 

If you need additional help with your job search, contact us to learn more about our free employment services and resources: 250.478.9525 or