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Scammers Target Job Hunters in Weak Economy
As the unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent, the Better Business Bureau warns that scammers are taking advantage of the opportunity by preying on the unemployed. Identifying the common red flags of a scam is one way for job hunters to protect themselves and their wallet.
“The dismal employment rate means that a lot of people are desperate for work and may be grasping for any job which creates a great opportunity for scammers,” said Stephen A. Cox, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Not thoroughly researching a job opportunity can make a bad situation even worse and a victim can lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars to any number of job-related scams.”
BBB recommends looking out for the following seven red flags when searching for a job:
Red Flag: The employer offers the opportunity to become rich without leaving home
While many legitimate businesses allow employees to work from home, there are also a lot of scammers trying to take advantage of senior citizens, stay-at-home moms, students and injured or handicapped people looking to make money conveniently at home.
Red Flag: The employer asks for money upfront
BBB often hears from job hunters who paid a phony employer for supposedly required background checks or training for jobs that didn’t exist.
Red Flag: The salary and benefits offered seem too-good-to-be-true.
The adage holds true for job offers: if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Red Flag: Employer e-mails are rife with grammatical and spelling errors.
Online fraud is often perpetrated by scammers located outside the U.S.
Red Flag: The employer e-mail requires you to check your credit report
The truth is, the e-mail is just an attempt to get the job hunter to divulge sensitive financial information or sign up for credit monitoring services.
Red Flag: The employer is quick to ask for personal information such as Social Security or bank account numbers
Some job seekers have been surprised to learn they’ve gotten a job without having to do a single interview. However, when the employer then asked for personal information in order to fill out the necessary paperwork, suspicions were raised – and rightly so.
Red Flag: The job requires you to wire money through Western Union or MoneyGram or receive and forward suspicious goods
The check might clear the employee’s bank account but will eventually turn out to be a fake and the employee is out the money he or she wired back to the scammers.
More info: http://www.bbb.org/us/article/scammers-target-job-hunters-in-weak-economy-21901
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