There are lots of good and legitimate job opportunities advertised on Craigslist. There are also a lot of spam, scam, and fake job ads. Below you'll find a few tips to help spot CL scam ads. But the real reason for this post is to help create an awareness of what is bad advertising, bad branding, and, yes, outright scam advertising.
1 – Lots of bullets**, exclamation points!!, stars, ALL CAPS, etc.<< >>
2 – Time of posting. This can be a big red flag – ads that were posted at 3 a.m. (CL time) are almost always from a scam factory in Asia or Africa (not to be geographically incorrect).
3 – Bad writing. Sure, we’ve seen terrible writing across corporate America, but consistently bad spelling, grammar, and wording is a good tipoff.
4 – The same ad in multiple listings (categories or CL cities). A way to test for this is to take a unique phrase from the ad, and search for it with quotes. “Assistant Manager (Community & Outreach)” was a recent example we saw.
5 – An ad with a link taking you to another job website or job application page.
6 – An ad with a generic image that the respondent is supposed to click to take them to the job offering. (In general, a job ad with any image other than a company logo is probably a scam.)
Blind or anonymous ads are not necessarily fake or scam. There are many legitimate reasons a business does not want the whole world to know it is advertising for staffing. (I was once advertising for sales staff, but did not want the whole community – internal and external – to know what we were doing.)
The best way to protect yourself if you do send out a resume to a CL ad and are not sure if the ad is legitimate is to include only a minimum of personal information. Do not use a physical home address, only a PO box (or leave out a mailing address completely, just use your city; hardly anyone ever mails information to you anymore). If you are still in doubt, use a disposable email address.
Also, in these days of privacy concerns, do not include contact info for references – for any job posting; legitimate or questionable.
But mostly, do your due diligence before even spending your valuable time responding to any ad that is questionable.