Scammers are posting fake job listings and taking money from unsuspecting candidates eager to make quick money, the Federal Trade Commission recently warned.
While these types of fake opportunities are not new, bad actors have become more creative and misleading over time. They are even taking advantage of the changing nature of work. As more Americans feel comfortable working from their living roomsscammers are launching more opportunities to make quick money from home.
“With companies now asking individuals to go back to work, this is a different angle that scammers use to get noticed.so that’s another way to engage someone, announcing a job at home, “said John Dooney, an advisor to the Society for Human Resource Management.” It’s certainly an attraction. “
Fake work and money-making opportunities range from offers to sell luxury goods from home to scam with fake checks to races in government.
“If you’re in the job market or looking for a business opportunity, scammers are looking for you,” the FTC warned in a recent statement. “They want your money and your personal information.”
Promises to sell from home
A common one, thoughclaims that it allows people to sell luxury goods from home and make money fast.
In a series of revenue scams in 2020, the FTC has determined that consumers have lost more than $ 610 million in four years.
The FTC has identified a company called Moda Latina, which it has accused of targeting Spanish-speaking consumers with false promises of “big profits” at home by reselling products such as branded perfumes.
“It turned out to be a lie. People who were engaged in it could not make money at all. If people received goods, they were not real luxury goods and if they tried to make money by reselling them, they would not succeed,” he said. An FTC spokesman told CBS MoneyWatch.
Pay to buy? Not so fast.
Some scammers advertise jobs for “mysterious shoppers” – secret shoppers hired to sponsor a business, such as a restaurant or retail store. For these possible jobs, buyers are asked to spend their own money and they will be reimbursed for what they buy and will be paid an additional sum for their time and work.
Although legitimate companies sometimes hire workers to provide feedback on the goods or services they sell, these companies never require workers to pay a fee in advance. Being asked to pay anything is an indication that a job offer is a scam, according to the FTC.
“You don’t pay to work, that’s a huge red flag,” said Kati Daffan, the FTC’s deputy director of marketing practices. “If someone is charging you in some way for working for him, even if he says the money is for certification or training or to secure you a job, don’t do it.”
False job listings sometimes end up in job boards like Indeed.com. In fact, it also warns job seekers to never provide any form of payment to a potential employer they find on the site.
“Charging fees is not only a violation of Indeed’s rules for businesses, it’s often a type of scam,” the company said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch. Also, never pay for training.
Fake check scams
Another common trick is what the FTC calls a “fake check scam,” in which a scammer will tell an interviewee that he or she has been hired and that his or her first task is to receive a check and use it to buy a gift card or send money somewhere. .
Initially, the funds will appear legitimate and appear in your account, but the banks will eventually determine that the check was fraudulent and you will be stuck.
“Banks are required to reflect a deposit within a certain period of time in their account, but it takes us longer to find out it’s a fake check,” Daffan of the FTC said.
How to avoid being a victim
- Do a quick search. Whenever you find an attractive opportunity, do a simple online search for the company or person announcing the job and include the words “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” If the entity is not legitimate, other victims have already been publicly denounced for it.
- Never pay for work. No legitimate employer will require a deposit, or any payment or purchase to do a job. You get paid, not the other way around. Also, never send money as part of a mysterious shopping task.
- Don’t be put off by accepting an offer. Be skeptical of anyone who pressures you to accept a job offer immediately. Take the time to review your job posting, research the company or person behind it, and first consult with trusted friends and family.
- Beware of misspellings. Look for typographical and grammatical errors in job postings: they may indicate that a job post is an invented scam.
- Finally, report scams to the FTC when you see them at reportfraud.ftc.gov.