Con artists are posting fake job listings and taking money from unsuspecting applicants anxious to make a fast buck, the Federal Trade Commission has been cautioning as of late.
These types of fake opportunities aren’t new, bad actors have become more imaginative and misleading over the years. They are even exploiting the changing nature of work now-a-days. As more Americans become more comfortable with the idea of working from their homes and look for remote positions, scammers are pitching more chances to make a speedy buck from home.
“With companies now asking individuals to return to work, this is a different angle scammers are using to get noticed. People worked from home and they liked it, so that is another way to hook someone, by advertising a home job,” said John Dooney, an advisor for the Society for Human Resource Management. “It is certainly an enticement.”
Fake money making and job opportunities run a range from offers to sell extravagance merchandise from home to counterfeit checks scams to careers working for the 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.”
A common, but fake income scam professes to allow individuals to sell luxury merchandise from your home to earn quick and easy money. In a wide 2020 scope of income scams, the FTC confirmed that purchasers lost more than $610 million in four years.
The FTC recognized the organization called Moda Latina that it accused of focusing on Spanish-language buyers with misleading guarantees of acquiring ‘large profits’ from home by re-selling products like brand name colognes.
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“It turned out to be a lie. People who engaged in it could not make money at all. If people received goods at all, they were not real luxury goods and if they tried to make money reselling them, they were unsuccessful,” an FTC spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch.
A few con artists advertise jobs for ‘mystery shoppers’ – secret shoppers recruited to patronize a business, such as a retail store or restaurant. For these fake jobs, shoppers are asked to spend their own cash and are informed they will be repaid for anything that they buy, and be paid an extra sum for their work and time.
However, genuine organizations truly do at times enlist workers to give feedback on products and services they sell, these organizations never expect workers to pay any type of upfront fee. Being asked to pay anything up front is a tip off that the job offer is a scam, according to FTC.
“Don’t pay to do work — that’s a huge red flag,” said Kati Daffan, assistant director of marketing practices at the FTC. “If someone is charging you in some way to work for them, even if they say the money is for certification or training or to guarantee you a job, don’t do it.”
"If you're in the job market or looking for a business opportunity, scammers are looking for you," the FTC warns. https://t.co/3QmmuOAvfh
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 12, 2022
Bogus job listings can end up on job boards like Indeed.com. Indeed also likewise cautions work searchers to never give any type of payment to a potential employer they find on the site. Another common trick is what the FTC calls a ‘fake check scam’ where a con artists will tell an interviewee that they’ve been employed and that their first task is to receive a check and use it to buy a gift card or send money somewhere.
At first, the funds will appear to be real and show up in your account, but banks will ultimately discover that the check was fraudulent, and you’ll be on the hook.
“Banks are required to reflect a deposit within a certain amount of time in your account, but it takes them longer to figure out it’s a fake check,” Daffan of the FTC said.
This just leaves one concern, how can you effectively avoid being a victim? Well, do a quick search anytime you come across an opportunity that seems too good to be true. Search the company and or individual advertising the job with the words ‘scam’ and ‘review’ or ‘complaint’. If the entity isn’t real, other people may have been scammed by them already and made it public.
Never pay to work. No genuine manager will require a deposit, or any sort of payment or buy something to do the job. They pay you – not the other way around. Additionally, never wire cash as part of a shopping assignment. Try not to be forced into accepting the offer. Be skeptical of anybody who squeezes you to take a job offer right away. Take your time to survey the job posting, research the firm or individual behind it and consult with family and friends first.
Be careful of incorrect spellings. Search for mistakes and linguistic blunders in job listings – they can also be a tip off that a job posting is a made up scam, and at long last, report scams to the FTC when you see them at reportfraud.ftc.gov.