Looking for a job this summer? Don’t fall for this scam - Laredo's Bargain Book: Consumer Alerts

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Looking for a job this summer? Don’t fall for this scam

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Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:55 pm

Looking for a job or internship can be tough and time-consuming. Unfortunately, scammers know this and advertise jobs where legitimate employers do — online, in a newspaper ad or via email. If you are on the hunt for a job, Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin advises you to beware of job scams.

Job scams come in many forms. It could be a fake ad listed on an online classifieds site, an email claiming you can make money working from home or as a secret shopper. The job sounds very convincing, especially if you’re told the job is guaranteed.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers will promote outdated or fake job openings, or charge upfront fees for services or training materials. They will claim they can guarantee job placement after you pay; however, the promised job never materializes and the company does not return your calls. If you need to pay first to get the job or have to provide your credit card or bank account number, that’s a red flag.

In Texas, more than 100 employment-related scams across the state have been reported on BBB Scam Tracker over the past year. In addition, Texans have reported losing more than $20,000 to job scams. BBB has received more than 1,200 reports of job scams, totaling more than $1.1 million in losses nationwide since June 2015.

When looking for a job online, BBB recommends the following tips:

  • Research the business first. If a company or organization is mentioned in an ad or interview, contact that company directly to find out if the company is really hiring through the service. When using social networking sites and online employment sites, be sure to check the website of the company posting the advertisement. Many scammers use names that are similar to reputable companies to trick job seekers.
  • Don’t 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. If an employer wants you to pay — even if they say it’s for certification or training materials — don’t do business with them. Additionally, job seekers should never provide bank account information until they have officially been hired.
  • ·       Be cautious when responding to unsolicited emails.Even if the company name is well-known, don’t click on any links in the email until you’ve verified the business and can confirm that the email came from a legitimate source. Legitimate employers will need Social Security numbers for tax purposes and may need a bank account number to deposit paychecks for new employees, but be wary of any requests for such information from companies that you haven’t met with in person.
  • Be wary of the “perfect offer.” Job seekers should be cautious of any posting advertising extremely high pay for short hours or minimal required experience. Remember, legitimate businesses don’t make promises or guarantees about jobs. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you have been targeted by a job scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC and your local BBB. To find or report a scam, visit BBB Scam Tracker. 

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