A savvy job seeker always checks out a business before going on an interview. But what happens when that company's name is just a cover for a scam?
How the Scam Works:
An increasing amount of scammers are using the names of legitimate businesses and organizations to lure in job seekers.
In one recent example, scammers posted a help wanted ad on Craigslist.org for an opportunity at the real, Virginia-based "Association of Corporate Travel Executives." When job hunters responded to the ad, imposters sent them checks to deposit. Consumers were told keep a portion of the check as their pay and to wire the rest to a third party via Western Union. Of course, the checks never cleared, and victims were out the money.
In another variation, scammers stole the name of BBB Accredited, Ohio-based business FBN Construction LLC. Scammers sent emails to local consumers promoting a job opportunity there and encouraging applicants to fill out an online form on a fake website. The form asked for personal information, opening job seekers up to identity theft.
Tips to Avoid Falling for Fake Job Scams:
- Job postings with grammatical errors, misspellings and lots of exclamation marks are likely scams. Ads promoting jobs with generic titles, such as admin assistant or customer service rep, and containing the phrases "Teleworking OK," "Immediate Start" and "No Experience Needed" are popular in scam ads.
- If a job looks suspicious, search for it in Google. If the result comes up in many other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam.
- Be very cautious of any job that asks you to share personal information or hand over money. Scammers will often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit or paying for training.
- Check out the business' website to make sure the opening is posted there. If you are still skeptical, call the business to check on the position.
For more tips on avoiding job scams, see this advice. For more information about scams across the US and Canada, see BBB's online scam directory.