Looking for Extra Income? Beware of Employment Scams

As more people search for flexible employment opportunities during the Coronavirus pandemic, the Better Business Bureau® (BBB) warns that scammers are targeting victims in need using scam job postings, fake recruiter emails, and work-at-home schemes. Learn these steps to better protect yourself and your loved ones from job scams.

The #1 Riskiest Scam, According to the Better Business Bureau

According to the BBB Risk Index, which measures exposure, susceptibility, and monetary loss based on reports to BBB Scam TrackerSM, employment scams ranked as the riskiest scam in 2019.

Here’s how an employment scam might work.

Scammers post an online ad for a fake job opening or send an email or text from a fake employer--sometimes impersonating a legitimate business or government agency. If the victim takes the bait and applies for the position, a phony hiring manager may reply, even conducting an interview through Google Hangouts or another chat service. After the victim is “hired,” the so-called employer may charge the victim upfront for training, ask for personal and banking information under the ruse of a credit check or direct deposit signup, or use other tactics in an attempt to get the victim’s money or personal or financial information.

Scammers sometimes search for potential victims on job boards. Others scammers may pay to have their ads or fake websites appear at the top of search results. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), fraudsters are also preying on financial fears tied to the pandemic and using robocalls to promote COVID-19 themed work-from-home scams.

Scammers May Pose as Recruiters

In another version of an employment scam, job seekers are targeted by criminals posing as recruiters claiming to work for an established recruiting firm or hiring on behalf of a well-known company. The scammers may even research the victim on social media, so they appear to be legitimate. Victims may be asked to provide personal information for background screenings or to submit information via a fake recruiting website.

Other employment scam tactics may include:

Steps to Better Protect Yourself Against Job Scams

If You Believe You Have Been a Victim of an Employment Scam