The recession is causing pain and suffering to job hunters. Faced with not finding work rational individuals may become irrational and fall for a scam that promises a sure-thing career change with great money and perfect benefits. These same people may not question why the new employer who is supposed to be a government contractor needs a registration fee or why you should have to give your social security number before becoming an agent for money transfers from Europe?
Be wise. Be careful. Be safe.

Here to avoid career scams? Here are Five Rules:

1. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
- Make $50,000 a month with no experience and no upfront investment.
- “I have a client who died and has no heirs. I need you to…”

2. Don’t ever give personal information to a stranger or online.
- When someone wants your social security number or your bank account details warning bells should ring in your mind.
- Think about what information a legitimate organization asks for and stop when another organization asks for more than that.

3. Question education or training which gives you a qualification or job with no work.
- A degree normally takes four years so one that claims you can graduate after only four weeks is probably suspect!
- Training which guarantees you a job is suspicious. Getting a job is about having the right skills which training may provide for you but it is also about your motivation, leadership skills and personality. Those can’t be guaranteed.

4. Set a limit on how much you will spend on the opportunity.
- If you think the offer sounds good and you want to spend the money. Go for it!
- But be ready to lose that money. Make it an amount that is OK to forfeit.
- Don’t break down and give more money because of high-pressure sales.

5. Use your intuition.
- There are some great opportunities out there. So use your heart in evaluating them. If it feels good that’s great.
- If it goes wrong use your intuition to find out what the learning is about your misstep.

There is a great article in the Wall Street Journal on other information to avoid:

Author's Bio: 

David Couper is a career coach and expert in career change. Please visit