After months of unsuccessful job hunting the unemployed can become victims of scams.
Unemployment checks are coming to an end and money is needed to put food on the table, to keep a roof over the family, to keep the cell phone to receive the job offer, etc. Then that offer comes that is ‘to good to be true’, but what if it is true. Here are a few tips from the FTC and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse to help you avoid being a victim.
FTC : Before you spend money responding to placement firms or completing placement contracts:
- Reject any company that promises to get you a job.
- Be skeptical of any employment-service firm that charges first, even if it guarantees refunds.
- Get a copy of the firm’s contract and read it carefully before you pay any money.
Understand the terms and conditions of the firm’s refund policy. Make sure you understand what services the firm will provide and what you’ll be responsible for doing. If oral promises are made, but don’t appear in the contract, think twice about doing business with the firm.
- Take your time reading the contract. Don’t be caught up in a rush to pay for
services. Stay away from high-pressure sales pitches that require you to pay now or risk losing out on an opportunity.
- Be cautious about purchasing services or products from a firm that’s reluctant to answer your questions.
- Be aware that some listing services and “consultants” write their ads to sound like they are jobs when they’re selling general information about getting a job.
- Follow up with the offices of any company or organization mentioned in an ad or an interview by an employment service to find out if the company is really
- Be wary of firms promoting “previously undisclosed” federal government jobs. All federal positions are announced to the public on www.usajobs.gov.
- Check with your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General’s Office, and the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed about a company with which you intend to do business. You also may contact these organizations if you have a problem with an employment-service firm.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse : Avoid payment-forwarding scams
” Payment-transfer scams involve a con artist who pretends to be an employer. The con artist uses a job ad to lure an unsuspecting job seeker, or they may use information from a resume they have found online. Such con artists can be quite convincing, and may even steal company names and corporate logos to convince victims that they are legitimate employers.”
” After the con artist has won the job seeker’s trust, the con artist tricks the job seeker into giving up bank account numbers. The reasons given for this can be clever. One ploy is to tell the job seeker they can only deliver paychecks by “direct deposit.”
- Do not give personal bank account, PayPal account, or credit card numbers to an employer.
- Do not agree to have funds or paychecks direct deposited to any of your accounts by a new employer.
- Do not forward, transfer, or “wire” money to an employer.
- Do not transfer money and retain a portion for payment.
Payment-forwarding scams contain certain “red-flags” that should alert you to fraudulent job ads. Here are the known red flags:
- Request for bank account numbers.
- Request for Social Security number (SSN).
- Request to “scan the ID” of a job seeker, for example, a drivers’ license. Scam artists will say they need to scan job seekers’ IDs to “verify identity.” This is not a legitimate request.
- A contact email address that is not a primary domain. For example, an employer calling itself “Omega Inc.” with a Yahoo! email address.
- Misspellings and grammatical mistakes in the job ad.
- Monster.com lists descriptive words in job postings that are tip-offs to fraud. Their list includes “package-forwarding,” “money transfers,” “wiring funds,” “eBay,” and “PayPal.”
- World Privacy Forum researchers also found that the terms “Foreign Agent Agreement” often appears in contracts and emails sent to job seekers.