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  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 19, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job scam, , , ,   

    Scams targeting those trying to return to work 

    Scams targeting those trying to return to work

    With many states trying to return to normal, many people are looking to gain employment after record numbers of workers have been unemployed. Never ones to miss out on an opportunity to seize ill-gotten gains from tragedy, scammers and con artists have been increasing their scams that target job seekers.

    One particularly disturbing scam is targeting the unemployed in at least one state. In Washington, scammers are using stolen identities to try to collect unemployment benefits. This takes much needed financial relief out of the hands of the people that need them and put them potentially into the hands of overseas scammers. It is recommended to check with your state’s unemployment office to make sure your payments are being sent to the correct destination. In some states, you can even sign up for an account through the state without even needing unemployment benefits.

    Of course, scammers have also been trying to fool job seekers with legitimate-looking positions. One man looking for employment posted his resume to a number of job boards like Indeed and Monster hoping to find a position that would take advantage of the years of his experience. Instead, he received a job offer that just tried to take advantage of him. He received a job offer from a company that he had not even applied to. Everything about the position looked legitimate so he accepted the position. However, the ‘company’ sent the man his payment by a check that was over the amount he was supposed to be paid. They told him to deposit the check and return the difference to them. Thankfully, the man was familiar with the phony check scheme and did not deposit the check. But he was devastated that this was not a legitimate job.

    Lastly, old employment scams are finding new victims after so many have been unemployed for the past few months. One of those scams is the car wrap scam. In it, the scammer will promise you so much money a week to display advertising on your car. More often than not, these offers are scams. One woman in California accepted one of these positions and once again, she was sent a check that was more than she was supposed to receive. She was also aware of the phony check scam and did not deposit the check.

    While these may be lean times, always do your due diligence when looking for a job. If you are offered a position, always research the company that’s offering you the job. Sometimes, something as simple as checking their address on Google Maps can reveal their true intentions.

     
  • Geebo 8:19 am on April 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job scam, , ,   

    Work at home scams rise during crisis 

    Work at home scams rise during crisis

    Work at home scams are nothing new. However, due to the current coronavirus crisis, many people have been furloughed or laid off and are looking for additional sources of income. With most states enforcing a stay at home order many will look for jobs that they could do at home. Unfortunately, the scammers know that there is a demand for these types of jobs and are actively looking to take advantage of that situation.

    One of the most common work at home scams is the repackaging or reshipping scam. In this scam, you’ll receive a package at your home. You’ll then be asked to repackage the item and send it to a third party. These items are often stolen goods having been bought with a stolen credit card. This way it becomes harder to track the stolen item.

    The biggest problem with the repackaging scam is that often the victims can be held criminally responsible for being an active but unknowing participant in the scam. The least of you’re worries would be that you would never get paid or you’ll get paid with a phony check that will bounce after you deposit the check. Then you’ll be responsible for the money lost by your bank.

    Speaking of phony checks, another work at home scam will have the scammers send you a phony check so you can buy work materials. All you need to do is deposit the check then send the amount you didn’t spend for materials back to the phony employer. By the time your bank realizes the check is phony, the scammers have already made off with the money leaving you holding the bag and indebted to your bank as mentioned above.

    These scammers will try to act like legitimate employers and in doing so will ask you for your personal and financial information. This puts you at a potential risk for identity and monetary theft.

    If an online employer hires you on the spot and the job sounds too good to be true it’s more than likely a scam.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 27, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , job scam,   

    Avoid this census scam in 2020 

    Avoid this census scam in 2020

    With it being 2020 and a new decade, the US Government is getting ready to issue the 2020 census forms. Each decade the government takes the census in order to not only determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives but to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities. To complete this monumental task, the government often hires census takers to visit the homes of people who haven’t or are unable to complete their census forms. With the 2020 census upon us, scammers have not hesitated to try to take advantage of people who are looking for one of these government positions.

    Once again, the Better Business Bureau is warning prospective census takers to be on the lookout for hiring scams. Some online listings have already been discovered offering census-taker jobs but then ask for money for either a training or processing fee. These ads are not being placed by the Federal Government as governmental jobs never ask for any kind of payment upfront. The best these ads will do is send you a package on how to apply for government jobs or claim to prepare you for the application test but will not deliver any kind of actual employment.

    While this may seem like a once in a decade scam, these phony employment ads crop up all the time for governmental jobs. The most common of these scams is for the US Postal Service. However, these scams can also appear for other governmental agencies like the IRS, especially around tax time. It’s best to keep in mind that you will never be charged for applying for a government job and that these positions should only be applied for through official government websites. If you’re interested in becoming a census taker, you can apply for one of the positions at the US Census Bureau’s website.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 8, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job scam,   

    Work at home job scam cost victims thousands 

    Work at home job scam cost victims thousands

    Working at home is the dream for many, especially those who are currently looking to get back into the workforce. Because of that. many scammers use phony work at home positions to try to lure suspecting victims into their clutches by promising them good pay for easy work. However, with most things online, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Recently, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, police have received reports of a work at home scam that has cost its victims thousands of dollars. Money that they’ll probably never be able to get back.

    The victims, in this case, found these jobs on a legitimate employment website. They even went through an application process and an interview. After they were ‘hired’ they even spoke to a phony human resources department. It seems like these scammers were willing to pull out all the stops to make sure this looked like a legitimate job opportunity. The job itself entailed the victims depositing a check into their own bank accounts before being told to use the money to purchase a laptop. Then the remainder of the money was sent to various clients through platforms like PayPal, Zelle, wire transfers, and, of course, gift cards.

    As you might have expected, the checks the victims were sent were fake checks but the money was already spent by the time their banks noticed. With the money being sent to various places, the victims are now on the hook for paying the money back to the bank. Any job that asks you to process business funds out of your own bank account is more than likely a scam. Not only that but since the victims went through an entire application process, the scammers have their personal information as well. So potentially these victims could also be victims of identity theft in the future.

    No matter how legitimate a job may appear, if they want you to use your own bank account or your own funds to do the job it’s probably not a job at all.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: check paper, , , job scam,   

    New scam makes victims print their own fake checks 

    New scam makes victims print their own fake checks

    Police in Iowa are reporting about a scam that combines a number of scams into one. If reports are to be believed, this scam combines the phony job scam with the phony check scam and the ubiquitous gift card scam. To make matters even worse, the scam even makes the victim of the scam print out their own phony check. If you’ll recall, if someone deposits a phony check into their bank account, they’ll be able to access the money before the bank finds out it’s fake. Once the bank finds out the check isn’t genuine, the person who deposited it into their bank account will be responsible for the money spent.

    The new scam works by scammers placing job ads for a personal assistant. Usually, these ads are aimed at college students who may not be wary of such scams. Once the victim has gotten the fake job, they’re paid with an online check. The victim is then instructed to buy check paper so they can print out the check they were just sent. They’re then instructed to deposit the phony check and then buy gift cards from various retail outlets including Amazon, WalMart, and Apple. The phony employer will tell the victim that they’re out of the country or give some other excuse as to why they can’t meet face to face.

    In any online transaction, whether it’s for a job or something else if you’re asked to deposit a check or purchase gift cards the odds are pretty great that you’re dealing with some form of con artist. It’s also recommended to be suspicious if someone instructs you to buy check paper. If something ever feels off about any kind of online transaction your instincts are probably right and you should walk away. If you ever receive an email like this you should contact your local police.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: back to school, , , , job scam, locksmith scam, , scholarship scam,   

    It’s the season for Back to School scams 

    It's the season for Back to School scams

    With September approaching and some schools having already started their school year it should come as no surprise that scammers will even use the back to school season to try to target potential victims. The largest targets among these victims will more than likely be college students. Considering that many of these students will be away from home for the first time, they may not have the real-world experience to recognize a scam. Hopefully, with this blog post they can be better educated on which scams to look out for that could potentially harm their college experience.

    The Better Business Bureau of Florida recently put out a list of the most common scams for students to look out for and we can’t help but recognize a few of them. For example, the BBB warns of phony job scams. In these scams, the perpetrator will use a phony email address that spoofs that of the university. The student will be promised a phony job where they will be sent a check that will be more than they were promised. Of course, the check is phony but by the time the student sends back the money their bank will charge them the full amount of the bogus check. Another common scam that targets college students is the phony scholarship scam. Phony companies will guarantee students grants or scholarships in exchange for a fee. Most scholarships and grants can only come from the government or the school so avoid these promises at all costs.

    While the above scams are largely illegal there are some legal scams to look out for as well. Many credit card companies will offer their cards to incoming students, however, many of them have either high annual fees or interest rates. It’s very easy to obtain one of these cards then find yourself in a world of debt that you weren’t prepared for. Then there’s the locksmith scam where a student may lock themselves out of their housing or car and they’ll call the first locksmith that comes up in a web search. Those locksmiths may not be local and may charge you an exorbitant fee. It’s better to research for a local locksmith before you lose your keys so you can have a reputable one readily available should the need arise.

    For a more comprehensive list from the BBB about these scams and others you can click this link.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , job scam, , , , Wells Fargo   

    Text message scams are on the rise! 

    Text message scams are on the rise!

    We’ve talked about email and phone call scams before but we’re pretty sure we’ve never discussed scams that specifically target you through text messages. Well, we’re going to correct that today.

    The Better Business Bureau recently reported on an employment scam that uses text messaging to try to swindle their victims out of their money or personal information. If you’re currently looking for a new job you could potentially be at risk for this scam. If you post your resume online you could be contacted by text from someone claiming to be a reputable company looking to hire you. They’ll then either ask you to pay for supplies or try to get your banking information for direct deposit. If they say you’re hired without even having you come in for an interview, it’s more than likely a scam.

    In Knoxville, Tennessee, a woman suffering from a cancer recurrence was recently scammed for hundreds of dollars in what’s referred to as ‘smishing’. That’s short for SMS phishing. She received a text message from one of her phone contacts telling about a grant she qualifies for that would provide $50,000 for her cancer treatment. The hook was that she would have to pay $500 first. After she mailed a $500 money order out of state she received another text asking for more money. This time the scammers were asking for $5,000. Luckily, her bank made her aware that this was a scam before she lost the $5,000. Text messages can be spoofed to make it look like they’re from someone you know. If a friend or associate texts you about a too good to be true offer, call them to make sure they sent the text.

    And lastly, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection is warning about a similar smishing scam that involves the Wells Fargo Bank. The text message says that there is an urgent discrepancy in your bank account that requires your immediate attention. You’ll then be instructed to click on a link or call a phone number to correct the discrepancy. You’ll then be asked for your ATM card number, PIN, expiration date, 3-digit security code, Social Security number, billing zip code, and your last known checking account balance. If you ever receive one of these text messages from any bank do not call the number or click on the link in the text. Instead, call your bank’s verified customer service number which you can usually find on their website.

     
  • Geebo 8:05 am on June 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , job scam, ,   

    Don’t take out a loan for that job! 

    Don't take out a loan for that job!

    While we’re far from the authority on online scams, we are surprised when we hear about one that we’ve never heard of before. Often these online scams are just variations of only a handful of scams such as the phony check scam. Not to mention that we thought we’ve heard of every job scam under the sun. However, even we were taken aback when we read about this job scam from Arizona.

    According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, there was an employment scam going through their state in 2017. Two men were posting help wanted ads for phony clerical and administrative jobs. They would then tell the applicants that their credit score wasn’t good enough for the position but that they could improve their credit score by taking out a loan. The scammers would then request the money from the applicants claiming that they would pay the loans back for them but of course, never did. Thankfully, the Attorney General’s office was able to prosecute these scammers but we have to wonder if the victims’ credit ever recovered after these incidents.

    While there are some jobs in the financial sector that require you to have a good credit score, you should never have to pay anything to get a job. If a company offers you an immediate position do some research to make sure they are a legitimate employer. And as always, if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job scam, ,   

    Summer is scam season for jobs! 

    Summer is scam season for jobs!

    With Memorial Day Weekend behind us and many schools ending the year, a number of people will be looking for seasonal employment during the warm weather months. Whether it’s students looking for some pocket money for weekend activities or adults and retirees looking to supplement their incomes, many of these temporary positions are in demand. That doesn’t mean that scammers take the summers off. They’ll be using this influx of job seekers to try to fleece their victims any way they can.

    The Better Business Bureau is warning people to be on the lookout for certain scams targeting seasonal applicants. One particular scam is said to target college students by sending spoofed emails that look like official emails from the college the student is attending. In reality, it’s another take on the fake check scam. The student will be sent a phony check that the scammers say is for the supplies the student needs for the position and will be asked to deposit the check and will then be asked to wire the money to phony vendors. Again, once the bank where the check was deposited finds out the check is fake the victim will be on the hook for the money owed to the bank.

    The BBB is also warning to be on the lookout for employment listings that say things like ‘no experience needed’ or ‘immediate start.’ These are red flags for potential scams. Don’t be in a rush to accept any position that may come your way. Ask as many questions as possible from your potential employer and try to get everything in writing. Real positions will be willing to provide any information you might need while the scammers will try to convince you otherwise. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll have a productive and enjoyable summer.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alexa for Business, , job scam, , , Virgin Vinyl,   

    Using a second phone number, Virgin Records on the seas, and Alexa for work 

    Using a second phone number, Virgin Records on the seas, and Alexa for work

    Popular Science is offering a pretty good deal for an app called Hushed. Hushed allows you to have a secondary phone number that you can give out to people or companies that you may not be comfortable in giving your primary number to. The deal PopSci is offering is a much better deal than you can get from the Hushed website. However, if you would prefer a free alternative there is always Google Voice where you can also get a secondary number. The drawback to Google Voice is that even though the service has been around for years, Google has a habit of killing a number of their most beloved services with little to no warning.

    Previously, we’ve posted about Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s vacation cruise line with a more modern and extravagant appeal. Not surprisingly, there will be a record store aboard Virgin Voyage’s cruise ships. It won’t be a record store in name only as Virgin Vinyl will be selling actual vinyl records. Customers won’t be stuck with a record and nothing to play it on while on the cruise as the rooms come equipped with turntables.

    Amazon’s ubiquitous Alexa service will soon be offered to companies to use as a corporate assistant tool. Alexa for Business will offer several modules called Blueprints that companies can use to free up other resources.

    The blueprints include many of the questions employees regularly bug HR or IT desks about, including; “What’s the guest WiFi password,” “When does open enrollment start?” and “How do I set up email on my phone?” Other Alexa for Business blueprints can help with onboarding new employees, answer common questions, and even broadcast pre-recorded messages.

    However, it’s currently not made clear how secure the Alexa devices would be on corporate networks but one would have to assume it would be more secure than just bringing an Echo from home and letting employees plug in their own devices.

    Speaking of Amazon, they are once again on another hiring spree, this time for jobs in their Tech Hub in Austin, Texas. At current, Amazon is looking to fill 800 positions in Austin, however, if you’re in the market for one of these positions be careful of job scams that seem to crop up around Amazon hiring phases. Keep in mind that Amazon only has one official employment portal at Amazon.jobs and any other website with Amazon in the URL is more than likely run by scammers.

     
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