Job Scams Can Take Your Money and Your Identity

May 29, 2012

Denver, CO – May 21, 2012 – Scams targeting the unemployed have been prevalent over the last few years as the job market has severally struggled. While unemployment in Colorado is slowing declining, the rate is still at 7.8 percent. High unemployment causes job seekers to become desperate and scammers to take advantage.

One of the latest twists the BBB has seen involves identity thieves posing as employers and tricking job seekers into divulging personal information on a fake credit report application. In one case, a job was posted on Craigslist offering great pay but required applicants obtain a “free” credit report through a suspicious website before they could be considered for the job. The offer ended up being bogus and the suspicious website has been shut down.

Whether you are a teenager looking for a summer job or one of the many unemployed looking for a permanent position, the BBB warns of the following red flags that could indicate a scam:

  • The employer offers the opportunity to become rich without leaving home. These are always too good to be true. Look into the details and research the company on
  • The employer asks for money up front. The BBB often hears from job hunters who paid a phony employer for supposedly required background checks or training for jobs that didn’t exist. Rarely, if ever, should an employee have to pay any money before starting a job. Also be wary of job placement companies that ask for large upfront fees.
  • The salary and benefits offered seem too good to be true. Phony employers might brag about exceptionally high salary potential and excellent benefits for little work and no experience necessary in order to lure unsuspecting job hunters into their scam.
  • Employer e-mails are rife with grammatical and spelling errors. Online fraud is often perpetrated by scammers located outside the U.S. Their first language usually isn’t English and this is often evident in their poor grasp of the language which can include poor grammar and the misspelling of common words.
  • The employer requires you to check your credit report. After posting their resumes online or responding to online job listings, many job hunters received what they thought was good news: an e-mail from an interested employer. In order to be considered for the job, the applicant has to check their credit report through a recommended website. The truth is, the e-mail is just an attempt to get the job hunter to divulge sensitive financial information and risk identity theft or sign up for credit monitoring services.
  • The employer is quick to ask for personal information. Regardless of the reason, a job applicant should never give out their Social Security or bank account numbers over the phone or by email. Only divulge this information in person after you’ve confirmed the company is reputable.
  • The job requires you to wire money through Western Union or MoneyGram or receive and forward suspicious good. Whatever the reason, DO NOT WIRE FUNDS TO AN UNKNOWN PERSON. The BBB also warns against receiving and mailing suspicious goods—such as electronics or luxury items—overseas. Such “jobs” are actually theft operations and unknowing participants can be liable for their involvement.

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About the BBB

The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Reviews , BBB Charity Reports and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, over 100 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada. Please visit for more information.