The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has urged job seekers to be extra wary of job listings this summer, as scams are on the rise and the costs can be huge.
Officials have warned anyone looking for a job that scammers are often looking for ways to trick victims into sending them money or providing personal information.
According to the FTC, it’s becoming more and more common for scammers to use the names of well-known employers and post fake job listings online.
As there are millions of job postings, these can be difficult to spot as they often look genuine. Additionally, a lot of job seekers are tempted to part with their details without proper checks, as the listings offer decent pay, flexible hours, or work-from-home options, which are all desirable.
The FTC has warned of several types of job posting scams. One of the most common involves the “employer” sending the job applicant a check; then, once it’s deposited, they will ask for the person to send back a percentage of the money for office equipment.
However, the job and equipment don’t appear and by the time the bank notifies the applicant that the check is a fake, they have already sent a large sum of money to the scammer.
The FTC says: “If you paid a scammer, call the company you used to pay right away (the gift card or money transfer company, for example). Ask them to reverse the charge.”
The agency also gives the following advice to jobseekers:
- Always verify job openings before applying by checking the company’s official website.
- Do an online search for the company alongside the words “scam” or “review”. This can notify you of any experiences other job hunters have had with online scams.
- Don’t deposit checks from anyone you don’t know. A genuine employer wouldn’t send a check and then ask for part of the money back.
- Never pay someone for a job opportunity, as this is likely to be a scam.