BBB warns of Craigslist job scam

July 18, 2011

A bogus employment opportunity scam has surfaced on Craigslist claiming to offer a job with the Better Business Bureau.

Scammers are posting fake advertisements for employment opportunities for a Data Entry Clerk at Better Business Bureau in regions across North America, including here in B.C. Once the job hunter replies to the posting and sends in their resume, they receive an email response that indicates that all employees are paid via direct deposit. The e-mail directs the applicant to click a link to sign up for their preferred banking institution at no additional cost, revealing personal banking information and potentially downloading malware to their computer. The Better Business Bureau serving Mainland B.C. did not post the bogus opportunity. Craigslist has posted a disclaimer for anyone searching for a job warning them of these types of scams.

“The goal of most employment scams is to get the victim to pay upfront fees or give away personal information,” says Lynda Pasacreta, BBB President and CEO. Scammers set their sights on the unemployed because these people are vulnerable and looking for any decent work opportunities.”

Not thoroughly researching a job opportunity can make a bad situation even worse, and a victim can lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars to any number of job-related scams.

BBB warns job hunters to watch out for these three common job scams:

Job offers that require upfront fees. No legitimate job offer will require out of pocket expenses from a potential employee for background checks, credit reports, or administrative fees before an interview. Additionally, job seekers should never provide bank account information for direct deposit setup until they have officially been hired.

Unsolicited job offers. Identity thieves employ many different methods for getting personal financial information from job hunters. Spam email might offer a great opportunity and direct the job hunter to a website that is designed to install malware on his or her computer or solicit bank account details. In other cases, the job hunter might even be asked to submit a resume, find out they’ve been hired and then immediately be asked for bank account or social insurance numbers.

The job requires you to wire money. Many phony jobs require the employee to cash a cheque sent by the company through the mail and then wire a portion of the money on to another entity. Reasons given for this requirement vary from scam to scam. Whatever the story given, the ending is always the same: the cheque is a fake and the employee is out the money he or she wired back to the scammers.