A New York woman who responded to an ad on Craigslist for a BBB Data Entry position discovered the listing was fake when she received a notice telling her she was being considered for the position. An email from the would-be employer instructed her to click on a link to set up direct deposit at her financial institution. The job seeker recognized it as an attempt to get her to reveal personal information and reported the incident to BBB.
Better Business Bureau does not post job openings on Craigslist and the website posts warnings for job seekers to beware of employment scams.
The goal of most employment scams is to get job seekers to pay money upfront or divulge personal information in an attempt to perpetrate identity theft or otherwise gain access to their bank accounts. Some of these schemes use phony job postings while others involve contacting people who have posted their resumes online.
“People looking for employment must be on the alert for red flags that indicate they are being targeted by scammers,” says Connecticut Better Business Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti.
People looking for work are increasingly branching out in their efforts and using not only online job sites and newspapers, but also social networking and Internet classified ad sites.
BBB offers the following tips when searching for a job through online searches:
•Check out the company - Many scams use names that are similar to reputable companies to trick job seekers. BBB recommends checking out the company first at bbb.org and applying through the company’s website whenever possible.
•Be careful – When responding to online job postings, visit the company’s website to verify the opening really exists. If you don’t see it on their site, chances are it’s a scam.
•Guard your resume – Be careful where you post your resume to prevent others from targeting you based on your experience and work history or collecting your personal information for use in identity theft.
•Never pay upfront fees - No legitimate job offer will require out-of-pocket expenses from a potential employee for background checks, credit reports, drug tests or administrative fees before an interview.
•Protect personal information - Job seekers should never provide a social security number or birth date until they verify they have been employed by a legitimate company. Additionally, never provide bank account information for direct deposit setup without confirmation of hiring.
•Be Careful of the “Perfect Offer” - Job seekers should be cautious of any posting advertising extremely high pay for short hours or minimal required experience. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
•Avoid work-at-home offers - Most jobs that imply you can work from home and rake in cash are a ploy to trick you into giving away your credit card information, cashing fake checks, or paying for training or materials that should be free. Employees working from home generally go through traditional in-person interviews and a hiring process and usually have prior experience in what they are doing and work for a salary.
•Report fraud - If you find a job scam or Internet fraud, including a Craigslist scam, report it to the BBB by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and contact the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at (800)251-3221 or go to http:// www.ic3.gov.
For more information on protecting yourself from scams and being a savvy consumer, visit http://ct.bbb.org/
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Founded in 1928, Connecticut BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at www.bbb.org.