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  • 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.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , job scam, ,   

    Wrapped car jobs, more from the IRS, and DNA scams 

    https://wwmt.com/news/local/better-business-bureau-warns-of-car-wrap-scam-found-in-local-newspaper

    What a wrapped car may look like.

    We have three scams happening across the country for you again. As we’ve stated before, if the scams are happening in one community, they could be happening in yours.

    If you think you’re not going to get scammed by using your local newspaper’s classified section you’d be wrong. While not as prevalent on some of our competitor’s sites, scams do happen on print classifieds as well. For example, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the BBB is reporting that a number of people have submitted complaints about an ad promising $300-$400 per week by driving your car around with advertisements on it. It’s called car wrapping and is usually as much as a legitimate job as a secret shopper. And the goal of the car wrapping scam is the same as the secret shopper. People who applied for the job were told to cash a check they were sent, keep some of it as your payment, and send the remainder to someone else. The check turns out to be phony but if you cashed the check your bank will make you foot the full amount of the check. Remember, there’s no such thing as easy money.

    With the annual income tax deadline looming, the IRS has released their Dirty Dozen of IRS scams. Some of these scams we’ve covered before such as don’t take calls from someone claiming to be the IRS as they ever rarely call someone over tax issues. One of the scams that we’ve not mentioned before is to be wary of shady tax return preparers. While most tax professionals would never try to rip off a client, there are some shifty ones who would use your tax return as a way to steal your identity. They may also promise you an unusually high return. The IRS also warns you not to avoid paying taxes by claiming that income tax is somehow illegal or unconstitutional. No one has ever proven that and you’ll end up owing the government a lot more money than you did before.

    Previously we’ve posted about a scam where a scammer poses as your county and threatens to send you to jail for skipping jury duty. The scammers will try to make you pay a fine over the phone which most county governments never do. Now, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada is warning about a twist on that scam. In this new scam, the perpetrators claim to be local police and that your DNA has been found at a crime scene. They’ll then try to get you to make a payment through Bitcoin, wire transfer, or gift cards. Again, if you’re DNA was found at a crime scene, police would come to your location and not make a phone call. That’s not to mention that county governments would not ask for payment outside of check, cash or credit/debit card.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , job scam, , , ,   

    Amazon job scam is permeating NW Washington State 

    Amazon job scam permeating NW Washington State

    Previously, we’ve mentioned how Amazon is hiring for new work at home positions and how job scams topped the BBB’s list of worst scams in 2018. Now, those two stories seem to have converged into one. One of the states where Amazon is looking to hire new employees is Washington. They are also looking to open a new fulfillment center in Spokane that promises an additional 1500 positions. Due to those factors. among others, scammers have decided to use Amazon’s hiring initiative in the are to embark on a massive fleecing of Amazon hopefuls.

    The scam appears to be overly elaborate but effective at the same time. It starts out with a robocall going out to local residents offering positions with Amazon that supposedly pay $27 an hour. The robocall directs victims to go to a website that has the Amazon name in the site’s address but isn’t an official Amazon website. Once there, victims are instructed to enter personal and financial information while the phony website makes it look like the victim is applying for a job at Amazon. More than likely, any unsuspecting victim of this scam will have their identity and possibly their finances stolen.

    Another aspect of the scam has the scammers trying to get their victims to pay the scammers money for phony employment fees such as processing fees or background check fees. The scammers will try to get this money through either requesting the money be wired to them or paid through gift cards, two of the most prevalent calling cards of a scammer. Amazon themselves have commented on this scam stating that they will never ask a prospective employee for financial information or request any kind of employment fee. These tips not only apply to Amazon but also to most major employers. If these tips are kept in mind hopefully your potential job search will be a relatively stress-free one.

     
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