BBB Alert: Holiday Hiring in Full Swing & Scammers are Lurking

November 08, 2017




BBB Alert: Holiday Hiring in Full Swing & Scammers are Lurking  


Holiday shopping is synonymous with seasonal hiring and retailers have stocked up early on temporary employees, which means some job seekers might not be as lucky at landing a seasonal gig this year.

The National Retail Federation says they expect retailers to hire about 500,000 temporary seasonal workers this season, down from last year’s 575,000.

Steve Bernas, president and CEO of BBB serving Chicago and Northern Illinois says, “Holiday hiring scams are always something to look out for this time of year. But with the projected drop in hiring, scammers are sure to take advantage of job seekers who are desperate to make a little extra holiday cash.”



BBB suggests watching out for these red flags to determine if a seasonal job opportunity may be a scam:  


  • Big bucks for simple tasks. Be wary if there is a promise to pay a lot of money for jobs that don’t require much effort or skill. 

  • Job offers out of nowhere from strangers. If they offer you a job without getting an application from you, meeting you, or doing an interview, it’s probably a scam. Don’t hand over your personal information, especially your Social Security Number or banking account information. This could lead to identity theft.

  • Requests for up-front payments. If someone wants you to make an advanced payment or buy materials to start working from home, this is a red flag. You should not have to pay money to start a job.

  • You are asked to wire money. If you wire a payment to somebody, it’s gone forever. Scam artists will often ask you to wire payments (especially to destinations in other countries) because they know you won’t be able to get your money back.

  • High pressure to commit now. Don’t be in a hurry to accept an unsolicited offer, or to make a business investment, particularly if the other party is pressuring you to commit and spend money now. Take your time and research the business. If somebody tries to convince you that this is a “limited time” offer and you have to act now, just walk away.

  • Refusal to give you full details in writing. Ask for complete information in writing. Look carefully at any documentation they might provide to make sure it answers all of your questions. If they won’t give details, or don’t respond to questions, don’t do business with them.

  • There is no contact information. Be cautious if a company is trying to get you to accept a job, but does not have a physical location or address available. A cell phone number and website address are not enough to prove the business exists.


Always check out their Business Profile at


Remember to always report scammers.  If you've been the target of a scam or suspect scam activity, report it to authorities and  BBB Scam Tracker  to warn others. 

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Thomas Johnson                                                              
Director of Public and Board Relations,  
BBB Serving Chicago & Northern Illinois, 312-245-2643  

Judith Ruiz-Branch 
PR & Community Outreach Coordinator 
BBB Serving Chicago & Northern Illinois, 312-245-2516