According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statics latest updates on its website, more than 9% of the country is still unemployed with many states reporting unemployment levels being well over 10%. Many state and local governments will have to lay-off large numbers of governmental employees to make up for budget short falls. Long term unemployment benefit pools are drying up and there will be no aid for those that are still looking for work. These are statistics that honest hard-working Americans are all too familiar with. Unfortunately, so are opportunistic con-artists. With the large numbers of job seekers scouring newspapers, employment web sites and job blog sites, the opportunistic scammers have had a wealth of new opportunities presented to them. Here are a few of the employment scams that job seekers should be familiar with when posting for jobs online.
Credit Report Scam
Potential applicants will send a copy of their resume for various positions listed on the web. Within a day or so, the applicant will receive an e-mail back from what they believe to be an interested employer. The e-mail will instruct the applicant that prior to being set up for an interview, they need to go to another web site and get a copy of their credit report. Here is where the employment scams begin. In many cases, this is just trying to get you to pay for a credit reporting service that will never result in you getting a job. In worst case scenarios, you are providing all pertinent information for someone to commit identity theft. This can be the most damaging of the employment scams.
Secret Shopper Scam
Of the employment scams out there, this scam looks good because there is seemingly no apparent potential for risk to you. You will answer an ad looking for secret shoppers. You may even get what appears to be a legitimate assignment or two that will pay you in the neighborhood of $3 – $10. Then you will get the one assignment that makes this one of the best employment scams. You will get an assignment where you will be sent a check and told send a Western Union or Money Gram transaction to a 3rd party. You are to deposit the check into your account and send the money the same day. The check will bounce and if you’re lucky at worst you will be out of the funds and an unfortunate victim of some good employment scams. If you’re not luck, you can find yourself in jail as one unsuspecting victim did.
Work from Home Scam
This is one of the best employment scams for con-artists because there are generally no actions that can be taken against them. You will see an ad online for work from home customer service positions. You answer the ad and they will tell you all of these things that you need in order to fill the position. Most of the items are standard like a computer, DSL connection, home phone, etc. Then you will need a type of software that will allow you to connect to their system. You will be told how to purchase the relatively inexpensive software which will run you from $5 – $49 (depending on which of the employment scams you’ve engaged). Next is nothing. Once you’ve purchased the software, you will never hear from the company again. Since the software companies have no known affiliation with the companies running the employment scams there is no recourse. In some cases, the software that you have installed will now infect your computers with viruses that will pop up months later and direct you to buy useless anti-virus software that will supposedly stop the problem.
There are many employment scams out there and the criminals (and whether prosecuted or not these perpetuators are criminals) are always looking for more creative ways to separate you from your wallet. Make sure that you always do your due diligence on any company that you’re looking at and never trust anyone with your personal information. Remember that if they ask you for money then it’s a scam.
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