BBB offers tips on how to avoid seasonal employment scams

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) Many retailers and shipping companies hire additional employees to help them get through the busy shopping season, and Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is urging consumers to beware of employment scams this holiday season.

How employment scams work:

You spot a Help Wanted ad online or receive an email or a text message from an “employer” asking you to apply for a position. The ad likely uses the name of a real business or government agency. You apply and get a quick response from the “hiring manager” who may request a phone interview through a video chat service.

After you are “hired,” the company may charge you upfront for “training.” You may need to provide your personal and banking information to run a credit check or set up a direct deposit. You may be “accidentally” overpaid with a fake check and asked to deposit the check and wire back the difference, or told that you need to buy expensive equipment and supplies to work at home. Unfortunately, these requests are a con artist’s attempt to capitalize on job-seekers money and/or personal information.

BBB offers the following information for job-seekers considering a seasonal job opportunity:

  • Employers will never ask for payment upfront for a job. Beware of businesses that ask applicants to pay for job supplies, application, or training fees. These expenses are the responsibility of the employer… and a big red flag that something is wrong.
  • Be wary of job offers that don’t require an interview. Even during the peak hiring season, reputable companies prefer to talk to top job candidates before hiring them. If a job offer is presented without an interview (on the phone or in-person) or is offered only via the internet, question the company’s hiring practices and do a little more digging.
  • Be wary of big money for small jobs. If an employer is promising outrageously good wages for what seems like simple tasks such as reshipping packages, stuffing envelopes, or answering phones, this is a red flag. These too-good-to-be-true offers are an attempt to steal your personal information from a fake job application and can take a long time to recover from.
  • Never work for a company before they hire you. A legitimate company will not ask potential applicants to complete complex projects before making an official offer. Before beginning any work, request an offer letter or confirmation in writing of what the job entails, including an official start date and compensation details. 

To see employment scams targeting job-seekers in your area or to report a scam, click here.

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