Due to turbulent economic times, many people are getting laid off or looking for survival jobs to weather the storm. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and it is that very mindset that can make unsuspecting job seekers prey to bad-intentioned people.
A word to the wise: Be careful about responding to complete blind-box job ads that do not provide any information about the company, the type of business they are in and does not provide any location information as to where the company does business.
Be exceptionally wary of job postings that basically have very thin information about what it is that you'd be doing and for whom you'd be working.
Some of these postings, particularly on Craigslist, are actually fronts for identity thieves.
Think about it: You read about a wonderful opportunity, get fired up, send off your résumé, and then get a call from someone asking you to fill out a more detailed job application. And usually, on that job application, is a request for your Social Security number and other private information. How would you feel about sending that to a complete stranger with no other information than the slim information listed in the job? Thinking twice might just protect your identity!
A good rule of thumb is to due diligence on prospective employers, which also helps you effectively write your résumé and cover letter, and prepare for an interview. Be assertive: Ask what company it is if you are called. Look for a way to respond that includes a company email, not a blind box or yahoo/gmail/hotmail email address.
Just as you'd expect a prospective employer to conduct research about you and your background, you should do likewise when investigating prospective employers.