Some job postings are scams. Here’s how to avoid fake lists.

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Scammers post fake job postings and take money from unsuspecting applicants eager to make quick money, the Federal Trade Commission recently warned.

While such fake deals are not new, bad actors have gotten more creative and deceptive over time. They even take advantage of the changing nature of the business. As more Americans become accustomed to working from their living room and search for remote jobsscammers offer more opportunities to make quick money from home.

“With companies now asking individuals to return to work, this is a different angle that scammers use to get noticed. People worked from home and they liked it“It’s definitely a temptation,” said John Dooney, consultant to the Human Resource Management Association.

Fake job and money making opportunities range from offers to sell luxury goods from home to fake check scams to careers in government.

“If you’re in the job market or looking for a job opportunity, scammers are looking for you,” the FTC said in a recent statement. “They want your money and personal information.”

home selling promises

A common but fake income scam claims to allow people to sell luxury goods from home and earn fast cash.

In its sweeping 2020 revenue fraud screening, the FTC determined that consumers lost more than $610 million in four years.

The FTC found that a company called Moda Latina accused it of targeting Spanish-speaking consumers with false promises of making “huge profits” from home by reselling goods such as brand name perfumes.

“It turned out to be a lie. Those who do this business have never made any money. If people buy goods, they are not real luxury goods, and if they try to make money by selling them, they will fail,” a spokesperson for the FTC told CBS MoneyWatch.

Getting paid to shop? It’s not very fast.

Some scammers post job postings for “mystery shoppers” hired to patronize a business such as a restaurant or retail store. For these potential jobs, shoppers are asked to spend their own money and are told that anything they buy will be reimbursed to them and an additional payment for their time and effort.

Although legitimate businesses sometimes hire workers to provide feedback on the goods or services they sell, these companies never ask workers to pay an upfront fee. Being asked to pay for anything is a clue that a job offer is a scam, according to the FTC.

“Don’t pay to do business—that’s a big red flag,” said Kati Daffan, vice president of marketing practices at the FTC. “If someone is asking you to work for them in some way, even if they say the money is for certification or training or to guarantee you a job, don’t do it.”

Fake job postings sometimes end up on job bulletin boards like Indeed.com. Indeed also warns job seekers not to pay in any way a potential employer they find on the site.

“Getting wages is not only a violation of Indeed’s rules for companies, they are often some form of scam,” the company told CBS MoneyWatch. Also, never pay for education.

fake check scam

Another common trick is what the FTC calls “fake check fraud”; where a scammer tells his interviewer that they have been hired and their first task is to receive a check and use it to buy or send a gift card. money somewhere.

Initially, the funds will appear legitimate and appear in your account, but banks will eventually determine that the check is fake and you’ll be hooked.

“Banks are required to charge a deposit on your account within a certain period of time, but take longer to realize it’s a fake check,” said Daffan of the FTC.

How to avoid being a victim

  • Do a quick search. When you come across an attractive opportunity, do a simple online search for the company or person advertising the job and add the words “fraud”, “review” or “complaint”. If the organization is not legitimate, other victims may already have filed a public complaint about themselves.
  • Never pay to work. No legitimate employer will require a deposit or any payment or purchase for doing business. They pay you money – not the other way around. Also, never transfer money as part of a secret shopping mission.
  • Don’t be pressured to accept an offer. Be skeptical of anyone who pressures you to accept a job offer right away. Take time to review the job posting, research the company or person behind it, and check with trusted friends and family first.
  • Watch out for typos. Look for spelling and grammatical errors in job postings – these could be a clue that a job posting is a fabricated scam.
  • Finally, report scams to the FTC when you see them at reportfraud.ftc.gov.