One of the most popular classified listings website, Craigslist, is ideal for those in search for jobs, real estate, housing or any other information. The best thing about Craigslist is that it offers the consumers local listings, hence making it extremely convenient to use. If you are on a lookout for a job in your city, simply click on Craigslist and get the listings for the area of your choice. This very geographic aspect of the website has made it extremely popular.

Beware of Scams in Craigslist

However, Craigslist being an online listing service, at times ends up as a tool for certain users to commit frauds or scams. Most of these are totally illegal. While others might not be termed within the header of “illegal”, they do end up misrepresenting the postings. One of the common ways of committing such scams is by offering get-rich-quick schemes where unsuspecting people unwittingly fall into these booby traps.

How to identify fakes from legitimate

Mentioned below are certain pointers as to how you can avoid these scams or misrepresenting job postings and identify a fake from legitimate.

* Most of the legitimate job offers will refrain from mentioning a salary range within the ad. Unless it is an ad for a government job (where salary range for jobs is publicly known), salary range will not be given. In case you find ads showcasing lines like “earn up to $xyz per month/year” or “potential earnings up to $xyz” know that you are in for a fraud posting or these postings are suspicious.

* In ads where there is a mention of a “Range of salary”, know that the candidate will rather be paid the minimum amount of the salary. The range will rather be earned from the commissions (if any) that the candidate earns. While this kind of listing cannot be termed as “illegal”, it is definitely a case of misrepresentation.

* If the ads are showcasing a lot of typographical and grammatical errors, understand that the company that has posted the job might not be professional in nature. Usually, in cases of legitimate listings, it is the job of the HR departments to run the ads. These ads are always well written and completely thought-out. Hence, if the ads are bad reading, know that the work environment with such a company will not be too great either.

* Never answer to ads that ask for money in order to get you a job. Be it asking for money for training for the job or any other reason, such ads are almost ALWAYS fake.

* Also be on a look-out for “work from home” type ads. While in certain businesses, this situation is possible (freelancing works after all), in other cases, this might just be a fake ad. However, for certain home-based or freelance work opportunities, experience and mutual trust is what matters in the end. However, freshers are usually not asked to apply for these posts. For positions requiring “virtual” assistants etc, freelancing is specially required.

* Lastly, most legitimate ads will have the company name and contact information mentioned. If not, know that the ad might be a fake and stay away from it. If the company information is provided, you can do your own research. Check for the legitimacy of the company and any other job opportunities available with them.