Searching for a job online?

July 14th, 2011 at 12:09 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Scam Alert

As the unemployment rate climbs, job seekers are cautioned as scammers have taken to posting bogus employment opportunities on line. “The goal of most employment scams is to get the victim to give away personal information making themselves vulnerable to identity theft or to pay upfront fees. While it can be exciting to be contacted for a job interview, job seekers should take a step back and look closely at all the details before responding”, said David Polino, Better Business Bureau President.

There is a case in New York where scammers actually posted a job on Craigslist for employment at The Better Business Bureau (BBB)!  A local job seeker received an email from the bogus BBB telling her that she was selected for a job interview. The email went on to say that “employees are paid via direct deposit” and directed her to click a link to sign up for their preferred banking institution – at no additional cost. Luckily, she didn’t fall for it.

The BBB offers the following tips when finding a job through online searches:

  • Exercise Caution. When using social networking sites like Facebook and online employment sites such as Craigslist, be sure to check the actual Web site of the company posting the position to verify it actually exists. If you don’t see it on their site, chances are it’s a scam.
  • Guard Your Resume. Some job seekers have uploaded their resume online but remember to make sure you only upload it for a legitimate purpose and company. Resumes often contain personal information, ripe for identity theft thieves.
  • Start with Trust. Many scams use names that are similar to reputable companies to trick job seekers. BBB recommends that job seekers check out the company first at bbb.org and to apply through the actual company site whenever possible.
  • Never Pay Upfront Fees. No legitimate job offer will require out of pocket expenses from a potential employee for background checks, credit reports or administrative fees before an interview.
  • Protect Personal Information. Job seekers should never provide their social security number or birth date until they have verified the position is legitimate. Additionally, job seekers should never provide bank account information for direct deposit setup until they have officially been hired.
  • 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 or rake in cash are a ploy to trap you into giving away your credit card information, cashing fake checks, or paying for training that should be free. Job seekers should understand employees working from home generally go through the traditional in-person interviews and hiring process and often have prior experience in what they are doing, work for a salary, or have spent time and money developing the market for their work.
  • Report Fraud. If you find a job scam or internet fraud, including Craigslist scams, report it to the BBB or file a complaint with them here. You can also contact the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at 800.251.3221 or go to www.ic3.gov.
  • For more information on finding a job and to check the reliability of any company, visit bbb.org.

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