The amount of money lost to job scams was up 250% in the first three months of 2023, according to the Better Business Bureau.
The BBB said more people are searching for remote jobs and scammers are taking advantage of them. The BBB found around $840 thousand in losses during the first three months of 2023.
It also found that job fraud is the most common type of scam for people ages 18 to 34. Since 2020, over 700 Scam Tracker reports referenced Indeed, 288 LinkedIn and 250 Telegram as their first point of contact with scammers.
One of the most common types of scams are “reshipping scams,” which is when scammers trick people into buying and shipping expensive electronics.
Personal assistant check scam
Alicia from Flat Rock was contacted by a scammer who was looking to hire a “personal assistant.”
The scammer sent Alicia a check for $11,000 and her bank flagged it as fraudulent. The scammer sent her a second check for $25,000, and the bank also rejected that one for being fraudulent.
Alicia’s bank closed her account due to fraudulent checks. The scammer kept trying to gain access to Alicia’s account and even threatened her and her children.
Office equipment scam
A woman from Warren received an email about a fraudulent job offer.
The scammer invited her to set up an online interview and sent an offer letter and an I-9 form. An I-9 form is a form to verify to identity and employment authorization of people hired in the United States.
Employers are required to complete an I-9 form for everyone they hire in the United States. Both employees and employers must complete the form.
She said the company’s website seemed legitimate so she accepted the offer, signed the documents and sent them back, including the completed I-9 form.
The scammer mailed her a check and told her to deposit the money into her account to cover the cost of equipment for a work-from-home setup. The next day, the scammer told her they had ordered office equipment for her and requested $1,500 be sent to them through Zelle.
The woman believed the money had been credited to her account so she transferred bank funds to the scammer. She later found out that the money had not been credited to her account and had been rejected.
Tips to not get scammed by fake jobs
You can visit the BBB website to check out a business or register a complaint.
“Verify, research, and question before you commit to a job offer,” said Melanie Duquesnel, President & CEO of Better Business Bureau. “Stay vigilant and remember, genuine opportunities never demand payment upfront or compromise your security. Your dream job awaits, but only when you navigate the path of caution.”
The BBB offers the following tips:
- Research 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.
- Don’t pay for a job.