As the recession kicks in and tens of thousands find themselves unemployed, fake job offers are growing and causing even more headaches.
Hundreds of job offers for fake positions are popping up online, but today we highlight one specific case so you can know what to look out for—considering that most fake job offers follow a similar format.
After a woman realized that a job she applied for was a scam, she received two payments totaling $4,500 from the scammers. She asked them to pay an additional $3,000 on the Zello app and a $1,800 American Express gift certificate for supplies.
The woman then sent $3,700 to an email address she believed was associated with a legitimate company offering jobs overseas. She thought she’d be working at home for a Florida medical equipment manufacturer but instead found out she was scammed when they sent her checks for $4,500 and told her to pay them back using the Zelle app and an American Express gift card.
After she received the checks, she realized it was a fake job offer
Law enforcement has spoken to the company, which says they do not employ the man who called the woman pretending to be from their bank. They say they’re aware of this scam, but it’s been ongoing for months.
A legitimate employer may ask for references before hiring you. But employment scams often involve fake employers who want your personal financial information or identity theft. These scammers could steal your identity and use your credit card to buy things online.
If your new job offer requires any payment upor-down, seems too good to be true, involves suspicious activities, or pays you with a faking check, it’s probably a scam.
Scams often play on your eagerness and willingness to work. For example, they may ask you for personal information such as your social security or driver’s license number, work in exchange for a fake paycheck, or do illegal things like “reshipping” items bought with your personal information.
Some employment scamming methods make them appear legitimate. For example, fake job offers may be placed alongside genuine ones on job boards. Scam artists may even pretend to be employees at the companies they’re targeting.
Even if something seems suspicious, the temptation of a high-paying position can be challenging to resist. About 76 percent of employment scam victims in the Better Business Bureau’s survey said they thought something was amiss but went ahead with the hiring anyway.
So if your instincts tell you a potential employer is sketchy, trust them and use these three easy-to-follow steps to stay safer.
1. Check where you applied at
If you find a position that interests you or an employer contact you out of the blue, check their company name and “scam” before responding to them. You may be dealing with a scammer.
2. Always ask about an interview and the process
A scammer may try to convince you that they can get you a great new career opportunity if you pay them money upfront. Don’t fall for these schemes! Scammers might ask for your bank account information or credit card details to deposit funds into an overseas account. They may also request payment through Western Union or MoneyGram. Please do not send any personal information to anyone who contacts you about employment opportunities; they are likely fake job offers.
3. Do not pay or send any money
You shouldn’t be forced to buy anything to get hired. Don’t give out any personal financial info. If you don’t want to use a bank for direct deposits, open a separate bank account.