BBB warns of work from home job scam

BBB warns of work from home job scam

By Greg Collier

During the height of the pandemic, many jobs that had previously been done in offices were changed to work from home positions. To many, this showed that commuting to an office every day wasn’t necessarily needed for their jobs. When companies started calling their workers back to the office, many workers decided to find other work from home positions instead. While this can be seen as a positive for workers looking for more of a balance between their work and home lives, it’s also been a positive for scammers.

Work from home scams are hardly new and even pre-date the internet. In the analog days, scammers would take out want ads in newspapers offering work at home jobs stuffing envelopes. Now, with our modern internet, work from home scams have become more prevalent and more dangerous. Then add to that the pandemic showed us the viability and legitimacy of work from home positions, work from home scams are experiencing a renaissance.

With this, the Better Business Bureau is issuing a new warning about an old job scam. In this scam, the scammers will tell a victim that they found the victim’s resume online and want to hire them. The victim will then be instructed to move the conversation to a messaging app like Telegram. After a faux-interview over the messaging app, the victim is hired and is asked to sign a contract that asks for their name, address, and date of birth, along with their banking information. This leads to identity theft, but the damage doesn’t always end there.

In some cases, the victims are sent checks and are told to deposit them in their bank accounts. They’re then instructed to use that money at a specific vendor to purchase office supplies, such as a laptop. Both the phony employer and phony vendor are in on the scam. Once the victim’s bank discovers the check is a fake, the victim will be held responsible for the amount of the check.

With any job offer that you didn’t apply for personally, you should always research the company first. Use the company’s name along with the terms ‘scam’ or ‘review’ to see how other people have interacted with them. Be wary of any company that doesn’t perform interviews in some personable manner. If everything is done over text, email or messaging app, there’s a pretty good chance you’re being scammed. Lastly, no legitimate company will ever ask you to use your personal bank account to pay for company expenses.