Are you looking for seasonal work over the upcoming holidays? The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that retailers will hire between 500,000 and 550,000 temporary workers over the 2017 winter holiday season. The holidays can be expensive - gifts, travel, and events all add up – so you may be thinking of taking advantage of a seasonal position.Unfortunately, scammers may be hoping to take advantage of those looking for temporary work. In 2016, over 2,100 employment scams were reported to BBB Scam Tracker. According to the BBB Risk Index, the employment scam is the third riskiest scam to consumers, the second riskiest scam for students, and the overall riskiest scam for those between the ages of 25 and 34.Be aware of the red flags in order to avoid employment scams trying to steal your personal information, money, or hard work:Don't fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask him/her wire the money elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers. You should also be wary if someone wants you to make an advanced payment or buy materials to start working from home. You should not have to pay money to start a job. Remember that 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.Some positions are more likely to be scams. Always be wary of work-from-home offers, secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title, such as caregiver or customer service representative. These positions often don't require special training or licensing, so they appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads.Watch out for on-the-spot job offers or job offers from strangers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made on the spot or after just an online chat. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring him or her. If someone offers 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 credit card information to such people. This could lead to identity theft.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. Look for pay or perks well above similar positions. If similar jobs offer to pay $10/hour and this position pays $20/hour, chances are that there's a catch. Don’t complete a complex project before an interview. A consumer in Marin, CA, reported the following to BBB Scam Tracker in September 2017: “Phone call and then sent me a project to complete before secret client schedules interview. Given two days to complete project, and project is complex enough that it takes this much time. After that, no followup received and any attempt to contact the company has been ignored.” If you’re asked to spend days working on something before an interview, watch out! Testing can be a part of a normal interview, but only invest time in a business if they have invested time in you.Nowhere is safe. You may think that sites like LinkedIn and other well-established, reputable job sites are free of scammers. Unfortunately, employment scams can happen anywhere. Whenever you receive unsolicited contact from a recruiter or employer, whether it be on a website, through email, or a phone call, be careful. It may be a great opportunity, but don’t let the excitement blind you to red flags.Businesses are often impersonated. Just because a solicitation appears to come from a legitimate company, doesn’t mean that it’s not a scam. Scammers will often pretend to be from real companies. Even BBB has been impersonated! They’ll create look-alike websites and send emails from addresses that appear legitimate. Look up the company through a search engine, and go to their website independently to verify the URL. Double check the website’s job page to see if the position is listed there. If not, get in contact with someone from the business to make sure the job exists and isn’t a scam.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 tell them to forget it.Do your research. Look up the business online. Start at bbb.org to see their BBB Rating and if there are red flags in their complaint history, or past reviews. Look at other review websites as well, and see if there are negative reviews of the business or if it has been impersonated in the past.References are missing or a bit suspicious. A real business should be able to give you professional references. Ask for references and check them out yourself. Even if the references seem positive, don’t let them be the only thing you base your decision on. Check out their Business Profile at bbb.org.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.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.Click here for information from the US Department of Labor on seasonal employment. If you encounter an employment scam, make sure to report it to BBB Scam Tracker.BBB Serving San Francisco Bay Area and Northern Coastal California and BBB Serving Eastern MA, ME, RI & VT contributed to this report.