At ShowbizJobs, we do our due diligence. Every employer is verified before they can publish to the site and we read each listing to ensure that the jobs are legitimate. In addition, we have multiple layers of security analyzing each posting to ensure nobody is posing as someone they are not.
The reason we published this article is that not every site does the same analysis on their listings and we hear over and over of people caught in these illegal activities. As a service to the community, we wanted to give you some tips on how to avoid them.
But, our best tip is...use ShowbizJobs.com!
It’s not fair. Breaking into the entertainment industry is hard enough. When scammers target job applicants with fake jobs and short cons, breaking in feels impossible. Production assistant scams are getting more prevalent but they all tend to share some red flags.
Too good to be true
Most production assistant scams post a PA job with high rates, $500/day, $90/hour — a few notches above what an inexperienced PA should expect.
When you apply, they’ll do a perfunctory interview at best, then get right to it: They’re very busy. The production really needs your help. Things are moving fast. Most importantly, they need you to do something before production begins.
Namely, paying for stuff.
“We’ll send you a check…”
It’s called an advance fee scam — perfect for production assistants because PA jobs are all about getting random stuff done. They’ll say they need you to put down deposits, pay for travel, book locations. And they’ll send you a big check to cover everything, including your daily rate. You deposit the check and start spending money, sending your own checks and cash to places they specify. Problem is, the check is fake and the places you sent money were fronts for the scammers. They pocket your real money before your bank detects the fraud.
Sometimes production assistants are indeed flown to a production. But it’s rare. It’s far cheaper for them to hire locally. If a job asks you to pay upfront for travel with a promise of reimbursement, they’re often directing you to a fake travel agency, or like a popular overseas scam, they plan on fleecing you once you arrive in a faraway locale.
“We just need some info from you…”
It’s called phishing and a fake job offer is a prime place to do it. The scammers ask for personal details — like your SSN, bank info — way too early in the process. A legit job gets those details from you in person, often on your first day on the job. If you’ve never met face to face, inside an actual office, it’s probably too early to give out your private details.
Good jobs are out there. People break into this business every day. Separate the good jobs from the scams and always:
Do your research.
- Look up the company online and through the Better Business Bureau.
- Ask lots of questions. Ask for referrals. Ask to swing by the office to meet them — legitimate companies will answer your questions, scammers will dodge them.
- Never accept a check before you start work.
- Never buy things out of pocket before you’re officially working, on the job site.
- Don’t believe a posting that’s too good to be true.
- Don’t provide personal information early on.
- Search for production assistant jobs with a legit site. We’re proud of our listings. And our staff works to stop illegitimate postings before they see the light of day. Take a look.