By Barbara Perone
Scammers seem to change their thieving methods the way we change our undergarments. Here are a few more underhanded job scams that sometimes resurface, over time, with new twists.
Scam #6 – “Recruiter” sends email about an “undisclosed job”
If you suspect you’ve received one of these emails, proofread it very, very carefully. Look for words like: secret or undisclosed jobs, interview within 48 hours, guaranteed job placement, big earnings or make big money, great opportunity, no experience necessary, free training, no-risk, money-back guarantee and plenty of exclamation marks!!!!
The scam artist offering this job might invite you to become a: mystery (or secret) shopper for a retail store or a credit card processor or web site operator or convince you to become your own boss by operating your own web store.
As an enticement to become an online web store owner, the bogus recruiter may mention the names of well-known companies in the phony pitch. Telling you that you will be able to make a commission every time a shopper clicks anywhere on the site to purchase something. Don’t fall for it! The fraudulent faker might even be so brazen as to call you in for a face-to-face interview. When you get there the scammer will offer you the job then ask you to shell out hundreds of dollars as a training fee. But you won’t get any training, you’ll just lose your hard earned dough, kid.
Scam #7 – “Recruiter” sends email about a “job,” offers “training”
In a scheme similar to Scam #6, this time the thief isn’t trying to get personal information – he just wants your money. After a brief conversation with you, he’ll tell you that you’ve got the job. All you have to do is pay an up-front training fee, or pay to take training courses before you can start. Sounds reasonable. At this point, if you give him your money, he might persuade you to come back at a later date to start your training sessions, but, when you return, he won’t be there – and neither will your money. The bum will be busy setting up in a new location trying to hustle his next pigeon.
Scam #8 — U. S. Postal Service job offer, must pay for test prep kit/application
In this clever ruse the scammer sends an email offering jobs with the United States Postal Service. All you have to do is send them a fee for a test preparation kit to help you study for the examination you have to take to get the job. The U. S. Postal service never charges prospective employees to take employment exams or tests. In a variation of this scheme, the scoundrel may tell you that you have to pay a fee for the job application, Again, the U. S. Postal service does not charge prospective employees for job applications. You can access a job application for free at their web site www.usps.gov.
Scam #9 — “Company” offers you a job as a “Currency Supporter”
Again, Currency Supporter is just another word for a money mule. In this scheme, an “employer” places an advertisement to hire someone to help him move his money around. The ad might state that the “employer” is visiting relatives in another country and wants to hire someone to transfer daily amounts of money, up to $1,000 daily, to a particular company. The “employer” will send you money transfers, which you will be asked to deposit into your account. Then, you will be instructed to withdraw the money, keeping ten percent as your fee, and wire the rest, via Western Union, to one of several companies. Only they aren’t real companies, the money transfers are phony, and, eventually, you just wind up sending this thief your own money.
Scam #10 – Work-at-home assembling items at your leisure
This one’s a dilly. You find most of these scams on the Internet. Typically, the company is located overseas. They’ll offer you a job where you can “work in the comfort and privacy of your own home” assembling small items and mailing them back to the company whenever you finish.
The items can range from: miniature games/toys, tiny books, or small shelves, etc. The firm may offer to pay you one dollar for each unit you assemble. Each time you send the finished items back, the company will send you a paycheck. There’s only one caveat – your work has to be perfect. Sounds fair, doesn’t it?
What the company does not tell you is that none of your work will ever be considered perfect, so, they will continually find fault as an excuse not to pay you. In addition, you have to pay for all the assembly kits and pay to package & ship the items the items back and forth to the company. Of course, they will offer to reimburse you for any money you paid out-of-pocket, but you’ll never get a nickel back from them.
Scam #11 — “Employment Agency” charges up-front fee for a “job”
Legitimate job placement firms will never charge first to find you a job then offer to give you a refund later if you don’t get it. These firms get their fees directly from the company that wants to hire you. So, if an employment search firm asks you for money up-front, tell them no deal!
Some of these so-called businesses might try a different tactic. Instead of an up-front fee, they may try to get you to pay for: certification, training materials, or expenses they say they’ll incur when they place you with a company. Don’t fall for any of that banana oil, either! Always decline such offers and report them to the authorities.
Scam #12 — Craig’s List Job Scams
Some people scan Craig’s List in hopes of finding the ultimate, off-beat job, such as pet sitting for a peacock, etc.
In some parts of the country, it’s free to post jobs on Craig’s List. That gives job scammers a perfect opportunity to place phony want ads on the site. Here are a few of the bogus jobs that may appear on Craig’s List: “Administrative Assistant” or “Customer Service Representative.”
What the ads do not provide is the company’s address, just alludes to the fact that the company is “international.” Again, after a quick email exchange between you and the “company” they may tell you that you have the job. All you have to do is set up a joint bank account so the company can deposit your paychecks. By now, you know where this is going …
Scam #13 — Subscribe to a website to get exclusive job listings
Another variation of Scam #12. Operators of a malicious website (up & running thanks to already laundered money) may try to get you to subscribe (for a fee) to another web site that contains exclusive job listings that nobody else knows about.
Usually, you can get these listings on your own for free by using one of many search engines. Again, a slight variation of this scam is to offer to allow you to join a website to receive training classes, for a small fee. Still a third variation is to get you to pay for a background check or training kit or supplies you’ll need for the “job.” Again, don’t fall for any of it.
Obviously, Craig’s Lists is not the only legitimate website to be victimized by employment scammers. From time-to-time, bogus jobs appear on Career Builder, Monster, and other legitimate job search sites. For further information about jobs scams at these sites, visit www.craigslist.com, www.careerbuilder.com, and www.monster.com, etc.
To read the third installment of this five-part series, see the blog entitled Even More Job Scams.