Job fraud most common type of scam for people ages 18-34, and it’s on rise this year

BBB-Scam-Tracker-1

As more people search for remote work opportunities, scammers are looking to cash in.

Job fraud is the most common type of scam for people ages 18-34, and it’s on the rise this year. In the first three months of 2023, consumers reported job scam losses of nearly $840,000 to Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker, up over 250 percent compared to the same time last year.  

Job scammers pose as legitimate employers and are usually seeking at least one of two things: money or personal and financial information. Because normal employers have close access to both, it leaves many job seekers with their guard down.

In some cases, scammers strike immediately upon making contact by creating a fake job opening and asking job seekers for their personal information. In others, the fraudsters lay a trail of deception for weeks or even months, slowly taking money from an unaware victim.

One common tactic is to hire job seekers as “reshippers” and ask them to purchase expensive items like computers and ship them overseas with the promise of reimbursement. Once the items are sent, the fraudsters disappear and victims typically find out they were reimbursed with fraudulent credit cards or checks.

In the most extreme cases, some people found themselves out tens of thousands of dollars.

BBB recently released an update to its study on job scams. You can read this to learn about common job scams and what to look out for.

BBB’s tips for job seekers:

  • Research trusted companies offering jobs at BBB.org
  • Find a number on the business’ website and call to confirm the job or offer is real. 
  • Check the email address to ensure that it is connected to the company and not a personal “gmail” or “yahoo” address. 
  • Be cautious providing personal information to unverified recruiters and online applications.
  • Watch out for:
    • Jobs that require you to pay your own money
    • Cold calls about jobs, especially if you can’t verify the caller’s identity
    • Jobs that seem too good to be true with higher-than-average pay
    • Interviews done strictly over email
    • The following types of jobs: Mystery shopping, reshipping, check-cashing, nanny and car wrap

Don O’Brien is the regional director for the Quincy Better Business Bureau. Contact him at dobrien@quincybbb.org or (217) 209-3972.

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