Posts Tagged ‘work at home’

Beware of Job Scams

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

I just saw an online ad that said, “Make $63 an hour–All you need is a computer!” Obviously, I’m not falling for that. If you could really make $63 an hour with nothing more than a computer, I know a lot of people who would quit their day-jobs.

Scams related to job searches are on the rise, though, and they aren’t always so easy to identify. There are more telecommuting positions open today for which you might never meet your employer in-person. If they ask you to fax a copy of your social security card and driver’s license for verification and tax purposes, how do you know if they are legit? They say they want to set up direct deposit because their payroll has phased out paper checks, but should you really provide a stranger with your bank account number?

Time Magazine’s recent article, Job-Search Scams on the Rise in the Recession, has some tips (e.g. be wary of ads written in poor English or that use a hotmail.com address). About.com also has tips for avoiding identity theft employment scams.

Other scams include requiring a payment for a credit or background check, or payment for (usually nonexistent) training or certifications. I would be skeptical of any job that requires any of those things but is unwilling foot the bill themselves, but one option is to offer to pay for the credit check or background check directly to the providing agency, a 3rd party, and send the results to the prospective employer. A scammer will probably make excuses as to why that isn’t acceptable (i.e. because they won’t receive the money).

It takes a low sort of person to scam the unemployed, but we are living in an age of low people. When in doubt, doubt! A healthy dose of skepticism should keep you safe.