Beware Of Job Scams That Can Turn A Hot Summer Cold, Says the Better Business Bureau

May 08, 2014

Finding employment this summer is a top priority for most college and high school students. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers about seasonal job scams that can result in a loss of money, be a huge waste of time or even lead to identity theft. Tell-tale signs of these scams are often fake postings that offer unusually high pay or require little to no effort.  

“Competition for available jobs is great and many young people will jump at the first “promising,” opportunity and that can lead them into trouble,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “One key is to clearly know who you are dealing with and that’s done by taking appropriate measures to avoid being scammed.”

The BBB offers these tips when job hunting this summer:                           

  • If you are offered a job without a formal interview or job application, it’s most likely a scam. Do not provide any personal or financial information, as it can lead to identity theft.
  • If the employer does not provide you with the details of the job in writing, be wary. When you have details in writing, be sure to read them carefully and ask questions.
  • If the employer does not have a website or contact information is missing, consider that a red flag.
  • If the employer requires fees for training, background checks or drug tests, it is likely to be a scam. These costs are normally the responsibility of the employer.
  • If an employer offers you a lot of money for simple work or to work at home, it is most likely too good to be true.
  • Do an internet search of the business for both positive and negative comments and then follow-up with the employer. Check the potential employer’s BBB Business Review to see if the employer has a good rating.

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The BBB is a non-profit, non-governmental organization.  It is supported by businesses to protect consumers against scams and other unethical business practices.  The group accomplishes this by educating both consumers and businesses, and by highlighting trustworthy businesses. By developing reports and ratings on businesses and charitable organizations, the BBB encourages people to use these as resources and referrals to utilize the free services before making a purchase or donation. The BBB helps resolve buyer/seller complaints through its alternative dispute resolution process. In 2013, the BBB provided more than 22,600,000 instances of service.  Over 80 percent of consumer complaints to the BBB were resolved. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois is a member of the international BBB system that services the United States, Canada and Mexico.