SCAM ALERT: Work from home scams on the rise says Georgia officials
Attorney General Chris Carr and the Consumer Protection Division are warning Georgians about scammers operating under the veil of potential employers.
Attorney Carr says they are seeing a wave of fake employer scams where con artist uses information posted on job websites and forums to exploit victims.
Carr stated “We want all Georgians to have access to quality jobs and opportunities that allow them to thrive, and we will not tolerate this disturbing trend. If you’re in the market for a new job, especially a work-from-home opportunity, look out for the following red flags of a scam.”
It can be difficult to distinguish legitimate online job offers from those placed by people who are just out to scam you, especially when it comes to work-from-home jobs.
Scammers advertise jobs on the same online job sites that real employers and job placement firms use, hoping they can con you out of your money or get you to turn over your personal information.
These scams are becoming more sophisticated. Scammers may pose as job recruiters or as employees of legitimate companies. They monitor online job sites and send emails to people who have posted their resumes there.
The Consumer Protection Division wants consumers to be familiar with these red flags of a job scam:
- Requests for payment. Real placement agents or employers do not require payment from job applicants, whether it’s for training materials, certification, background and credit checks, or the recruiter’s expenses for placing you with a company.
- Requests for sensitive financial or personal information. You should be suspicious of any company that requests via phone or email your Social Security number, driver’s license, bank account, PayPal, or credit card information as part of the initial application process.
- Offers high salary for simple tasks or minimal experience. A legitimate employer will evaluate your experience and abilities before deciding on what to pay you. Scammers commonly advertise high-paying jobs that state “no experience necessary” or “will train.” Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it could be!
- Immediately offers job. Actual employers take their time to research and get to know potential job candidates before offering a position. Be skeptical of a job offer that has come via email, when you’ve never had a telephone or in-person interview.
- Communicates via a non-business address. If a company communicates from a free email account such as Yahoo or Gmail, this could signify a scam. Legitimate job-related emails usually come from corporate email accounts.
- Know the common scams. Ads for envelope stuffing, at-home craft or assembly work, medical or claims processing, and refund recovery, are often placed by scammers. Additionally, be on the lookout for jobs that ask you to accept payment to your own bank account and then wire money on behalf of the company. Almost always, the money the victims are transferring is stolen, and therefore, you would be committing theft and wire fraud.
- Do your homework. If you’ve never heard of the company, research it on the Better Business Bureau’s website. You might also do a search for the company name and the word “complaints” or “scam.” If you recognize the company name, contact it through the phone number listed on the legitimate website and verify whether it is actually seeking to hire for the position in question, and if so, what the hiring process consists of.
If you think you’ve been targeted by a job scam, you can submit a complaint to the Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Division.