Scammers preying on online job seekers


Staff Report



DAYTON — Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and the Miami Valley and BARRYSTAFF warn job seekers to be wary of scammers online posing as companies hiring.

More and more job-related scams are being reported to BBB’s Scam Tracker. Most victims tend to be college age and seeking employment. However, this scam targets every age. These scammers intend to steal your identity and/or your hard-earned cash.

Typically, many of these scams start when victims are contacted by what appears to be reputable firms advising them they have been “hired.” The scammer sends the victim a check and is instructed to deposit the funds and send a portion back to the scammer. The check is not real and once your bank realizes it, you are responsible for paying back the funds sent to the scammer, not to mention any other funds you happened to use, as well as any fees your bank may charge.

One consumer recently posted to BBB’s Scam Tracker that she had found a job posting on Indeed for a job as a mystery shopper for Kroger. After responding to the posting, she received a check for $2,480 and was instructed to deposit the money into her account. Then, she was also told to keep $250 for her salary, but use the rest to shop Walmart (buy product, use Walmart to Walmart money transfer and Moneygram transfer).

Doug Barry of the BARRYSTAFF employment agency in Dayton says this impacts his business because most of his job seekers come by way of Indeed. Thousands of people apply through the website every day.

“Job seekers need to know employment agencies like ours will never ask them for anything until we meet with them,” Barry said. “We’ll never send a check before meeting with a job seeker. We’ll never ask anyone to do any banking either.”

BBB and BARRYSTAFF offer the following tips to help you avoid employment scams:

• Remember legitimate companies will not ask you to deposit a check and send funds back to them.

• Be wary of companies offering a high salary for unskilled labor, asking for an advance fee or making offers that simply sound too good to be true.

• Avoid companies using e-mail addresses that are Gmail, Hotmail, etc. Legitimate firms usually do not use public e-mail accounts.

• Be cautious of messages using improper grammar and spelling, indicating the sender could be from a foreign company.

• Take the time to ask lots of questions. Vague answers are a red flag that should arouse your suspicion.

• Always be wary of work-from-home or secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title. Positions that don’t require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads.

• Check the real company’s job page to see if the position is posted there if the job posting is for a well-known brand.

• Look online; if the job comes up in other cities with the exact same post, it’s likely a scam.

• Beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring.

• Keep in mind government agencies post all jobs publically and freely. The U.S. and Canadian federal governments and the U.S. Postal Service/Canada Postal Service never charge for information about jobs or applications for jobs.

• Be wary of any offer to give you special access or guarantee you a job for a fee – if you are paying for the promise of a job, it’s probably a scam.

• Get all details and contracts in writing. A legitimate recruiter will provide you with a complete contract for their services with cost, what you get, who pays (you or the employer), and what happens if you do not find a job.

John North, BBB president and CEO, says, “Don’t let stress over looking for a new job make you vulnerable to scams. It can be tough to tell the difference between a legitimate opportunity and a bogus job offering. Scammers are sophisticated and are always tweaking their ploy and evolving with the times and technology, making it more important than ever to take your time, be skeptical and do your research. Better Business Bureau is always a great resource. Visit bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.”

About Your BBB Serving Dayton and the Miami Valley

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley is one of 113 local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico. BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley serves seven and half Ohio counties, including Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby and northern Warren counties. Your Dayton-based BBB is unique in that it provides business solutions and consumer services in specialized areas to other BBBs, businesses and consumers. It remains focused on the Miami Valley, but through these key products and services, it is an international organization.

About BARRYSTAFF

BARRYSTAFF has been putting people to work for over 30 years and remains the most successful locally-owned staffing agency in Dayton.

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