Don't Get Scammed! How to Avoid Employment Scams
Be On The Lookout For Job Scams
Please be aware that we strive to verify that all employers on this system are legitimate
organizations. However, you should be cautious about any communications you receive
offering you a job or mentioning that the sender viewed your résumé online. Be cautious
and NEVER send anyone money that has offered you work of any kind. Even if they have
recently sent you a check which you deposited, the check could be a fake. Please contact
us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you do receive correspondence from a scam employer
so we can take appropriate action immediately.
Common Employment Related Scams
- CHECK CASHING SCAMS
- Check cashing scams frequently begin with email correspondence offering a job either as (1) a secret
shopper or (2) someone who transfers funds internationally. The scam artists often
attempt to reassure the victim of the legitimacy of the position by offering documents
which actually have no value, such as invalid contracts, forged or false documents
bearing company letterhead, false letters of credit, payment schedules and bank drafts.
After obtaining the trust of the victim, the scammer continues. Checks, money orders
or wire deposits will be sent to the victim for "processing" or for use as a deposit
while "secret shopping" a local bank. The victim will be asked to cash the check or
money order (wire deposits will send the money directly to the victim’s account) and
send a percentage of the funds back to the scammers. The need for the "middle man"
is often explained as being a way around international fees or taxes, and sometimes
the need to obtain payments from PayPal or another online payment system. Once the
funds are sent back to the scammers (usually the victim is told to keep a percentage
for themselves, as payment for their services) the victim’s bank or financial institution
learns that the check/money order/wire transfer was fraudulent. The funds are then
subtracted from the victim’s account and they are made liable for the lost money.
- Reshipping scams are often targeted at work-at-home moms or other people trying to supplement their
income. These scams begin with an employment offer, usually via email, to the victim.
As with check cashing scams, these "employers" offer legitimate looking contracts
and other documentation to make them appear legitimate. Once the victim's trust has
been obtained, packages are shipped to the victim's residence with instructions to
reship the packages to another address. (Often the victim is asked to repackage the
goods.) Once the package has been shipped from the victim's residence (or by using
a service such as DHL, FedEx or UPS) the victim is "guilty" of receiving and shipping
stolen property. This can result in police involvement, as the return address or shipping
receipts lead back to the victim.
- WORK AT HOME SCAMS
- Work at home scams are varied and can be more difficult to detect than the other scams
described here. They come in many different forms and change regularly. The following
are some of the most common:
- Envelope Stuffing Scams - These scams usually incorporate a "registration fee" to be paid before work can
begin. Once this fee has been paid, the "employee" is asked to post an ad in a local
newspaper or other media, using their own contact information. This ad is often the
exact same ad that the "employee" responded to. Once the "employee" receives a response
to the ad, he or she will fill an envelope with information/instructions on how to
start and mail it to the new applicant. The scammer claims that your fees will be
calculated based upon how many responses you get for the ad you placed.
- Medical Billing - Advertisements for these pre-packaged businesses always contain an initial financial
investment. The advertisement or solicitations will falsely state that only a small
percentage of medical claims are transmitted electronically and that the market for
medical billing is wide open. In reality, however, the market is well established.
You should therefore be cautious of these advertisements.
- List of Work-At-Home Jobs - These are offers to purchase a list of companies that are purportedly hiring for
work-at-home positions. You should exercise caution before purchasing such lists because
they are often inaccurate.
- MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING (MLM)
- Also referred to as Pyramid Schemes, these marketing ploys involve recruiting new
members to earn money. Although there are legitimate MLM businesses, also called "Network
Marketing," these are based on selling products or a service. When the business focuses
primarily on finding new recruits, the business and its employees may be in danger
of participating in an illegal pyramid scheme.
Steps to Better Protect Yourself
- Keep your email address private
- Be cautious of any employer offering employment without an interview (either in person
or by phone).
- Be cautious of any employer who charges a fee to either employ or find placement for
- Please investigate thoroughly any employer requesting that you transfer funds or receive
packages for reshipment, especially if they are located overseas. Most of these employment
offers are check-cashing or shipping scams!
- Do not provide your social security number or any other sensitive information to an
employer unless you are confident that the employer is legitimate.
- Avoid vague offers as these are often scams. If the employer is not willing to specifically
describe the position they are offering, you should exercise caution.
- Be wary of inflated claims of product effectiveness.
- Be cautious of exaggerated claims of possible earnings or profits.
- Beware when money is required up front for instructions or products.
- Be leery when the job posting claims "no experience necessary."
- Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
- Be wary when replying to unsolicited emails for work-at-home employment.
- Research the company to ensure it is authentic.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.
- Be cautious of employers who conduct their interviews in a home setting or in motel