BBB warns of employment scams during pandemic

Published 6:22 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2020

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RALEIGH — Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is issuing a warning on employment scams in light of the economic fallout due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to the 2019 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, unemployment scams were the riskiest scam last year and BBB is expecting an uptick with the increase in unemployment claims.

“With skyrocketing numbers of layoffs and furloughs, we want to make sure those looking for a job do not become a victim of this scam and cause more stress to an already difficult situation,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern NC. “There are a number of red flags that people need to look out for including too good to be true offers.”

BBB offer the following tips on employment scams:

  • 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. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring. Don’t fall for an over-payment 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 sharing personal information or any kind of pre-payment. Be careful if a company promises you great opportunities or big income as long as you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories.
  • Government agencies post all jobs publicly and freely. The U.S. federal governments and the U.S. Postal Service/Canada Postal Service never charge for information about jobs or applications for jobs. Be wary of any offer to give you special access or guarantee you a job for a fee — if you are paying for the promise of a job, it’s probably a scam. Also, try and see if the agencies are in fact hiring. A large number of organizations have enacted hiring freezes at this time.
  • Get all details and contracts in writing. A legitimate recruiter will provide you with a complete contract for their services with cost, what you get, who pays (you or the employer) and what happens if you do not find a job.

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Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation serving 33 counties in eastern North Carolina. The organization is funded primarily by BBB Accredited Business fees from more than 4,000 local businesses and professional firms. BBB promotes integrity, consumer confidence and business ethics through business self-regulation in the local marketplace. Services provided by BBB include reports on companies and charitable organizations, general monitoring of advertising in the marketplace, consumer/business education programs and dispute resolution services. All services are provided at no cost to the public, with the occasional exception of mediation and arbitration.