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Summer Job Scam

Summer Job Scam

May 22, 2017

Summer job hunting is on the rise this time of year, unfortunately that means scammers are on the rise as well.

In the scammers quest for reeling in their victims, crooks rely on sites like Craigslist, Monster, CareerBuilder and ZipRecruiter to post a fake summer job.

RELATED: Fake Job Ads on Government Website JobActive End In Laundering Money

Deciphering scam employment ads

Take precautions as you go into your job search this summer, as the Better Business Bureau warns that there may be a very good reason that job you’re applying for sounds a little too good to be true: it’s a fake designed to steal your money and/or your private information.

The ads promise everything under the sun to job seekers. “Work from home!” they may claim. Sometimes they’ll promise you “thousands every month!” They can make their ads and their emails look legitimate by copying and pasting real business’ logos on them. Here are some tips for anyone relying on Craigslist ads as they seek employment:

  • Watch out for commonly used phrases designed to appeal instantly. These could include “Immediate start,” “No experience necessary” and “Teleworking OK.”
  • Generic sounding job titles can also indicate a scam. Among them are “customer service representative” and “administrative assistant.” Vague titles like these and assurances that “no special training needed” are commonly used hooks for grabbing your attention.
  • Do an Internet search using the exact wording that the ad contains. This is a good way to find out whether the ad is used across the country. If so, it’s probably a scam.
  • Double check on the ad by visiting the company’s website, looking for employment opportunities there, and seeing whether the job is advertised on that site. (Don’t use the web address contained within the ad. Instead search for the company by name and go to that address. Fake websites are easy to make and they can look legitimate.)
  • Never give out personal information without getting assurance that the party to whom you’re giving it is really who they say they are.
  • Never pay money up front in order to get a job. This includes fees for “training.”
  • Don’t give out your personal information until you are absolutely sure they are legitimate. Scammers will commonly ask for information so they can conduct a “credit check,” or so they can set up “direct deposit” for you.
  • Get details about the job in writing. If they refuse, they are scammers.
  • Verify the company’s physical address. As said earlier, websites can be faked. A cell phone number means nothing in terms of legitimacy.
  • No business can afford to pay big money for simple tasks. Give it the smell test: if it smells fishy, resist the offer and look elsewhere because it’s almost certainly a scam.

Advance payment scams

A favorite technique is to send the supposed new hire a check, often for a few thousand dollars and through overnight delivery. It will look legitimate. You are instructed to deposit it in your account and send some money back to the “company.” If you do so, you will never hear back from them, the check will bounce and you will be responsible to the bank for the full amount.

Scammers send genuine-looking letters with company logos to fool you. (Sometimes bad grammar or spelling mistakes do give them away, but not always.) Occasionally a bank employee may spot the fake check in time to save you, but there is no guarantee this will happen. These advance payments are always scams.

Does that job offer seem too good to be true? It probably is.

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If you have questions or concerns about your job search, contact your Better Business Bureau at (800) 856-2417, or visit our website at