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Looking for a job and finding a scam
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Finding work in today's economy isn't easy. To make matters worse, some of the millions of Americans going online to find work are, instead, being scammed.
According to MSN and Marketwatch, some consumers are falling victim to fake job postings that lure an unsuspecting applicant into becoming a "mule" for illegal operations, such as wiring money or shipping stolen merchandise. The job description might sound legitimate, using the words "international wire transfers" or "repackaging merchandise" to attract would-be employees, and some scammers are even setting up fake professional-looking corporate websites for the job posts.
Other job seekers may instead become victims of identity theft. Fake job applications are actually "phishing" for personal information, such as your Social Security number, home address, and even your bank account number in order to set up "direct deposit." While some job offers are the real deal, it makes sense to find out for sure by checking out the company with the Better Business Bureau in your area.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is: don't respond to work-at-home ads or job posts that promise no work for a lot of money.
- A legitimate employer will not ask you to wire or transfer money for or to them. If someone asks you to do this, consider it a major red flag and report the activity to the Federal Trade Commission.
- You are the first line of defense: make sure you update your computer's antivirus software, install a firewall for online browsing, avoid clicking on email hyperlinks that take you to outside websites, and change your passwords as often as possible.
- Keep an eye on your bank account. If you see anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, report it to your bank immediately.
For more information on how online job seekers can protect themselves, visit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
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