With employment fraud on the rise and job scams increasingly prevalent online, we’ve been fielding messages, calls and emails from concerned job seekers who all want the answer to the same question: is this opportunity for real?

We’ve put together a list of red flags, warning signs and the most common tactics used by phony recruiters to take advantage of people actively looking for employment.

Here are 8 things to watch out for when looking for your next career opportunity:

You didn’t apply for the job

A too-good-to-be-true job opportunity falls right into your lap, but you never applied for the job. Sure, sometimes recruiters will reach out to potential candidates directly to gauge their interest in a role, but most of the time, you need to actually put in an application before getting an offer, so make sure to double check that the position and the company are the real deal before moving forward. Unsolicited messages offering employment – especially those sent on Facebook or WhatsApp – might be a red flag.

Communication has grammatical errors or obvious typos

A typo here or there is forgivable — we’re all human, after all. But when the message you’ve received is riddled with grammatical errors or obvious mistakes, it’s time to raise an eyebrow. Pay attention to errors like misspelled company names, wonky punctuation or incomplete sentences. These are telltale signs that something isn’t quite right.

It’s a work-from-home job with flexible hours

Although flexible, hybrid and remote roles are quickly becoming the norm, not all offers for these types of positions are genuine, some are just using these buzzwords to lure you in. Basically, if the message you get reads like a get-rich-quick scheme, proceed with caution. Like, what does a “part-time, remote travel assistant” actually do, anyways?

Vague job descriptions or role requirements

Watch out for super vague job descriptions, you shouldn’t be left wondering what the role actually entails and what your day to day duties will be. Job scams often use language designed to draw people in – after all, who wouldn’t want to work 8 hours a week and, somehow, still make $4000 a month? Don’t be afraid to ask for details and, if you aren’t satisfied with the answers, it’s a good idea not to engage further.

Entry-level positions with sky-high pay

If you get a message from someone offering a hefty paycheck for a job that seems to be pretty basic or entry level, pump the brakes. Check out our salary guides to see if the offer actually aligns with the market rate. If it’s way off the mark, it’s pretty likely you’re likely dealing with a scam.

The interview process seems too easy

A legitimate company will have a clear recruitment process usually including a phone screen, various interview stages and, in some cases, testing or projects to confirm your skillset is what you claim it is. But scammers? They’ll breeze through the process with a couple basic questions, quick decisions and boom — you’re hired! Uh, a little too easy, right? Before you sign on the dotted line, put them through the paces! Ask for specific details like who you’ll be reporting to, management styles, learning and development programs and turnover rates. If they dodge your query or can’t (or won’t!) answer, that’s a big warning sign.

Getting an immediate job offer

No interviews, no background checks — just a straight-up “you’re hired.” While it might be a relief to have landed a job, especially if you’ve been searching for a while, don’t let your eagerness cloud your better judgement. Most companies take their time finding the right fit, so if you get a golden ticket without any vetting, it’s probably fool’s gold.

And the latest tactic? Using the name of recruiter from reputable company

And lastly, the newest trend in recruitment fraud: scammers using reputable company names, and sometimes even the name of an actual, honest-to-goodness recruiter, in order to gain trust and credibility. Remember, if something feels off, trust your instincts. Reach out to the company directly to verify the job offer – they’ll be happy you did. Better safe than sorry, right?

Bottom line: Be aware, trust your gut and spread the word about employment fraud with your network so we can raise awareness!