If you’re looking for a job, the last thing you need is to get ripped off! Kimberly Lankford is an editor for the financial website Kiplinger.com. She says that scams aimed at job seekers are at an all-time high. Here are the most common:
- Identity theft. Crooks read your résumé online. Then they call and pose as a prospective employer. After raising your hopes of finding a job, they ask for your social security number so they can “run a background check.” Once they have that, stealing your identity is a breeze. Anyone who asks for sensitive information during a first phone interview is a fraud. No legitimate company will ask for it that early in the hiring process.
- Job search scam #2: Work-at-home offers. Financial specialist Michael Eisenberg says it’s easy to tell the difference between legitimate offers and scams. The scammers ask for money up front. Some just pocket it and run. Many ask you to provide bank account information so they can “deposit” your earnings electronically. Then they clean you out. Before you consider any offer, check out the Federal Trade Commission’s Work-at-Home-Scheme website. They tell you which questions to ask, and where to get help if you think you’re being conned.
- This 3rd scam shows how creative the bad guys can be: Make money “tweeting.” According to the Better Business Bureau, companies claim they’ll tell you how to make big bucks just by sending messages to the people in your address book. What they really do is charge postage and handling for their “free” instructional materials - and then bill your credit card each month until you cancel.
- Beware of stimulus or Federal government job offers. These rip-offs usually involve buying some kind of training or paying a fee for a list of jobs. If you want to work for the government, all you have to do is go to USAJobs.gov. All the information you need is available there for free.