First check for the company all over google, visadoor, payscale, glassdoor etc etc. You will get reviews by current/ past employers. Again, they may be fake but you will at least get an idea.
Try finding an employer through a reference only. If your friend etc has applied and worked there he will give you first hand and also accurate information.
Don’t pay upfront by bank transfer etc - I would not recommend paying any employer so much hard earned money. Although most of the employers greedily ask for the money in the name of security deposit and consultants jumping companies or not entering US etc etc. As you’re aware it is illegal for employers to charge money from employees. Still if you’re desperate ask for an email/ hard copy mail on company letterhead “Requesting 5000 USD to be transferred in Indian Bank Account” That way, in case of any wrong doing you have some document in your favor and ill practice of the company.
Ask the company if you can transfer the money in USD in their US bank account. Most companies will hang up the phone there and then only. Coz they will be in the soup if the consultant ever complains to DOL about this money business. So now, once they say NO. Tell me them you can only give bank guarantee in India.
My suggestion is if the company is only keen in getting the money for security then go with a Bank Guarantee. Thats the best way of finding if an employer is really after using your money or really his intent is security only.
Secondly, never go with a company which deducts some money and returns the rest. How will you know if the employer even filed your application.
In the initial discussions itself, get it from them in writing that they will share with you everything, LCA Application #, EAC #, Attorney receipt etc etc. And not just the # but the application with your name on it. This way you know if they were fooling you or they really applied for your application and it didn’t get selected in lottery.
You can also negotiate for a 50-50 cost sharing for attorney fees when you don’t get selected in Lottery. Why should you pay all of it.
Just my 2 cents - Experts can provide here better guidance.