Better Business Bureau: Job seekers, beware of scams

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Congratulations, graduates. It's an exciting time. Unfortunately, it's also a good time for scammers to prey on people looking for a job. (WLS)

Congratulations, graduates! It's an exciting time. Unfortunately, it's also a good time for scammers to prey on people looking for a job.

Steve Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Chicago, identified some warning signs.


It's Your Job to Watch for Employment Scams

BBB Reminds Graduates Adding to Summer Job Hunt Rush

As summer approaches, the hunt for jobs intensifies! BBB reminds seekers to not let the stress of looking for a new job make you vulnerable to a scam.

Recent data breaches at Chipotle's are a stark reminder that Cybercrime is attacking both consumers and businesses. Scammers are lurking on-line and on social media ready to employ any tool at their disposal to steal your identity and/or money.

How the Scams Work:

You spot a Help Wanted ad online or receive an email from a "recruiter" asking you to apply for a position. The ad likely uses the name of a real business or government agency. Companies small and large have been impersonated. When you apply, you receive a quick response from the "hiring manager," often with an offer without having an interview.

Steve Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau says, "a tip-off to the rip-off is any on-the-spot offers or any payment requirement demands for an opportunity or training. Fraudsters ask you to provide personal and banking information to run credit checks or set up direct deposit."

Scammers also sometimes tell people they may need to buy equipment and supplies to work at home to get started, and steal money or information from victims.

BBB offers some additional tips

-Some positions are more likely to be scams. Always be wary of work-from-home or secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title such as caregiver, administrative assistant, or customer service rep. Positions that don't require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads. If the job posting is for a well-known brand, check the real company's job page to see if the position is posted there. Look online; if the job comes up in other cities with the exact same post, it's likely a scam.
-Different procedures should raise your suspicion. Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. Beware of offers made without an interview. Don't fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask for money to be wired elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers. And be cautious of sharing personal information or any kind of pre-payment. Also, be leery if a company promises you great opportunities or big income as long as you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories.
-Get all details and contracts in writing. A legitimate company will provide you with a complete contract for their services at cost, what you get, who pays (you or the employer), and what happens if you do not find a job.

To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker at

For more job hunting tips and information on employment scams, check out the latest edition of Live Better Newsletter.

Search our databases anytime and at no cost to help you find trustworthy businesses and more important consumer information visit Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or add us on Instagram

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. Consumers and businesses can search business reviews and ratings on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.
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