BBB Scam Alert Warns of Phony Amazon Job

It sounds like the perfect job: work at home, make thousands of dollars a month and work for a huge corporation that is constantly expanding.

This new twist on an employment scam is fooling victims into paying hundreds of dollars for a job at Amazon that doesn’t exist.

Reports to BBB Scam Tracker about this con have increased steadily this summer including a few people from Connecticut.

The scam begins by receiving a voicemail message inviting you to apply for a job at Amazon. Allegedly, the online retailer is hiring dozens of people to list products online, post review and do other website work.

The position pays well—targets report anything from $20/hour to $6,000/month—and you can work from home.

Scammers use the names Amazon Cash Website(s), StockRetail.com and WebStoreJobs.com.

You are excited about the opportunity, so you fill out an application online, but there’s a problem! According to BBB Scam Tracker reports, new employees have to purchase a $200 “enrollment kit” before they can start work. If you pay up, the scammer will vanish. You will be out the money, and the new job never materializes.

How to spot a job scam:

  • Jobs that request personal information or pre-payment: Be cautious of any job that asks you to share personal information or hand over money before you even start the position. Scammers will often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit, paying for training, or paying for expensive equipment and supplies to use while working from home. Be careful if a company promises you great opportunities or high income as long as you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories.
  • Check the business website. Scammers frequently post jobs using the names of real companies such as Amazon to lend legitimacy to their cons. Check on the business website for the position and/or call to confirm.
  • Some positions are more likely to be scams. Work-from-home and secret shopper positions or any job with a generic title such as caregiver, administrative assistant, or customer service rep are always more likely to be scams. Positions that don’t require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants making the scam easier to implement. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads.
  • Instant job offer. Be weary of quick response from the “hiring manager,” often with a job offer and no interview. A legitimate recruiter will provide you with a complete contract for the position without cost to you.
  • Search for it online. If the result comes up in other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam. In this scam, a designated number of jobs are available and applicants need to act quickly. This high-pressure tactic is another red flag.

For more about scams, go to BBB Scam Tips (BBB.org/ScamTips). To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/ScamTracker).