If you are looking for part-time or full time employment to make a few dollars over the summer, be careful when considering an unsolicited employment opportunity.
“There are all sorts of legitimate jobs available, even work-at-home opportunities, but there are a number of red flags that can tell if you are applying for a real job or if someone is trying to get you to part with your personal and financial information,” said Connecticut Better Business Bureau Spokesman, Howard Schwartz.
The red flags include, but are not limited to:
An offer that sounds like a dream job with no training or experience required; being offered jobs by telephone even if you never applied for them; promises of a generous salary; no face to face meeting and demands for upfront money sent by untraceable methods such as wire transfer or gift cards.
The “recruiter” will tell potential victims they are hired without any face to face meeting, and that the candidate will have to send money upfront, supposedly for background checks, training and materials, their Social Security Number for income tax purposes and a bank account number to arrange direct deposit of salary.
A legitimate employer will never ask for any of your personal information until after you have met, received a formal written offer with a job description, salary and other remuneration details.
The most common phony job offer sectors are:
- Envelope stuffing
- Arts and crafts assembly
- Data entry
- Medical billing
- Re-shipping scam. This is one category that can get you into serious legal trouble. You will be asked to accept parcels and send them to another address, often out of the country. You may end up unwittingly re-shipping potentially stolen goods or other contraband.
Essential Tips for Job-Seekers
Research the company – If you can’t find any details about the job, or contact information about the company, move on to your next prospect. Check the company at bbb.org, or google its name and/or telephone number with the word “scam.” If it is the name of a legitimate company, check their website and/or call Human Resources to see if they posted the job opening in question. Some criminal operations engage in “corporate identity theft,” and use the names of legitimate companies to lend legitimacy to the ruse.
Check what is out there– Job boards, specialized websites and the websites of companies where you’d like to work. Don’t wait too long. Businesses need people for the summer.
Keep your birthday to yourself – Even your year of birth alone can aid identity thieves. Make certain your social media accounts are suitable for a new employer to see, and be careful not to expose inappropriate content or personal information in your profiles.
Be proactive – Legitimate work at home jobs are available, but they generally require experience and don’t make outrageous claims about salary or work hours. Work at home scams are common, but there are many more real employment opportunities at companies waiting to fill open positions.
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