KUSI Interview with BBB on Tips for Avoiding Potential Job Scams

June 23, 2016

As the job market is ever changing, many consumers are looking to make extra money. Most will look at online job boards to find employment, but Better Business Bureau urges consumers to make sure the offer is legitimate before accepting. Victims are often young adults, stay at home parents and even retirees, as scammers view them as prime targets.

KUSI’s Lisa Remillard interviewed Sheryl Reichert, President and CEO of BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties on how to avoid falling victim to job scams. “While looking for jobs online seems like the easiest way to see what’s out there, it can be a tricky arena to navigate,” says Reichert. “It may be tempting to quickly accept a job when you have a short amount of time, like summer break, but there are definitely a few red flags you should always be on the lookout for.”

Here are a few job scams BBB has seen: 

  • Work at home scams.  Usually the scam works by asking employees to pay a registration fee to cover the expenses for training or materials needed to perform the job. Not all work at home employment opportunities are scams, but many are.
  • Money laundering scam.  Disguised as “ payment processor” positions, this job requires receiving funds directly into your personal bank account and then transferring a certain amount into another account while earning commission for each transaction. Authorities have a difficult time tracing fraudsters who use this tactic.
  • Check cashing scam.  Advertised in many different ways, this scam will require individuals to receive checks, cash them and send money off to a third party while keeping a small percentage as a commission. In most cases, the checks bounce and the victim will be held responsible for the insufficient funds.
  • Door-to-door magazine or charitable donation scam.  This scam preys on the heartstrings of consumers looking for victims to pay cash or write a check for small amounts, all in the name of a good cause. In most cases, these “donations” are untraceable and often the organization is fake, or you never receive the magazines you signed up to receive.
  • Immediate offers.  If you post your resume on an online job board and are immediately offered a job without as much as an interview or application, it may be a scam. Never give out your personal information, especially your social security number or bank account in order to “secure” a job offer.

Follow these tips to avoid falling victim to a job scam.

  • Be thorough.  Be sure to read and understand documents thoroughly before committing to a job. Never accept a job offer from a company that refuses to provide the full details in writing, or requires sensitive information as it may lead to identity theft.
  • Too good to be true.  A job opportunity that promises you a lot of money for minimal work sounds appealing, but in many cases, could turn out to be a scam. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Missing information.  If the employer doesn’t have contact information or an address, consider this a red flag. A real business is able to provide references, contact information and a physical address. Do a careful background check and visit bbb.org to check out a company’s Business Review. 
  • Extra fees.  Don’t commit to a job offer that requires you to pay for equipment, training, background checks or drug tests. These costs should be the responsibility of the employer.
  • High-pressure tactics.  Take your time when job hunting and avoid jobs that advertise getting rich quickly. Don’t feel pressured to accept a job on the spot. Take a day or so to think about if it’s the right position for you.

Visit bbb.org where you can find business reviews on more than 94,000 local companies, or call BBB’s 24-hour Consumer Helpline at (858) 496-2131. If you believe you have been a victim of a job scam, report it to the BBB Scam Tracker on bbb.org.