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How to Spot Fake Recruiters: 5 Red Flags!

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Searching for a new job can be quite a stressful experience in itself, it doesn’t help when you’re inbox is hounded by multiple recruiters and from time to time, a scammer posing as a recruiter.

Scammers usually only have one objective and that is to access your personal information and your bank details.

It can be quite difficult to spot certain recruitment scams, as the perpetrators will most likely use real information stolen from other companies online.

Don’t fret, they are still ways to tell the difference between a real and a fake recruiter. Here are a few tips for all you job seekers on how to spot one.


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  1. Emails from a free account

If the recruiter is using a free web email account from services such as Gmail or Hotmail as opposed to using a business email address to contact you, that is a sign.

Keep an eye out for excessive spelling or grammatical errors and DO NOT open any attachments within the email that have been flagged by the email service provider.

2. Asking for your personal information prior to you submitting an application

At no point, while discussing job opportunities should you be asked for any kind of payment.

Do not provide your date of birth or your social security number before successfully securing the position and starting the onboarding process.

Some recruiters may ask you for your contact information, resume and references which is okay to provide, so don’t worry.

3. Is the recruiter deflecting or evading questions regarding the job opportunity?

The recruiter will always be one of the most knowledgeable individuals regarding the job opportunity. If at any point they come across as vague, fail to answer a question or try to change the subject. That is a flag and you may be dealing with a scammer.

Note: They may not be able to disclaim the name of the company. However, they should be able to provide knowledge of the industry as well as disclose as much as they possibly can.

4. Does the job offer sound too good to be true?

If so, it might not be true. The aim of a scammer is to fish and throw out bait as appealing and enticing as possible.

Sometimes the offer may be real, but we’re just letting you know to always be on your guard and stay alert.

5. Is the salary for that role higher than usual?

This goes hand in hand with the point above. Fake job offers will have a salary that is ridiculously higher than the industry average for that particular job role. If you are unsure of what the average salary is for your respective field then please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Regardless of whether the job recommendation is legitimate or not, you should always ask questions and if there are any signs of the points above in their answers then you might be dealing with a fake recruiter.


Optimum Staffing Solutions is a full-service staffing and HR agency serving both companies and job seekers alike. Optimum takes the stress out of the job and employee search–with over 50 years of combined hiring experience, we understand the business elements and bigger picture of staffing. We develop a deep comprehension of both client and candidate needs in order to find the right fit for you, lower time to fill, and continue to act as advisor and guide throughout the hiring process.

Whether seeking jobs or employees on a contract basis, temp, short- or long- term, remote or in-person, freelance projects or even outsourcing your HR department entirely, Optimum has the insight and expertise to destress staffing and help you succeed. For accounting, finance, IT, legal, marketing, HR, and engineering, Optimum is Staffing…Reimagined.

Curious how a staffing agency could help your business? Interested in outsourcing your SOW management? Schedule a free, 30 minute Discovery Call with Optimum to learn more.


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