|Don't Get Scammed!|
Getting a job offer is wonderful - but make sure first that it isn't a scam
Some Oregon job seekers have been contacted with job offers that turned out to be scams. There are many variations, and the Internet has made it easy for scammers to create and distribute bogus or deceptive job offers, usually by e-mail, but also sometimes posted on legitimate job sites. Scammers also create websites that use the name of legitimate businesses. Personal information harvested from you during the hiring process can either be used for identity theft by the scammers, or it may be sold to a third party. Therefore, it pays to be vigilant when performing job searches.
Here are some “Red Flags” that indicate that a “job offer” could be a scam:
- You are told to pay an upfront employment processing fee.
- You are asked to pay for a mandatory training in order to be considered for the job.
- You are notified by email that you have the job, without any interview process.
- You are asked to submit your Social Security number or a copy of your driver’s license, or birth certificate for a background check. (Never give out information until you have researched the company.) The same applies if they ask for bank account information, your mother’s maiden name, or a copy of a Credit Report.
- You are chosen to be a “secret shopper”, issued a check with instructions to shop at specific stores and wire a large amount of the check to the employer in order to evaluate the wire transfer company. Again, the check turns out to be counterfeit.
- The potential employer hires you for “re-shipping/quality control” to verify that their orders are shipped correctly. They are actually looking to hire you as a fence for items purchased with stolen credit.
- Checks or money orders are made out to you and not the company and sent without any exchange of a product or service.
- You are asked to deposit money into your personal bank account and then wire or overnight an amount to a third party.
- The potential employer sends messages from a webmail account only; most legitimate employers will email you from a company’s email address. Be especially alert if the e-mail has a “From:” address that is different from the e-mail address where they want you to reply to them.
You should never share the personal information listed above with a prospective employer until you are confident the employer and the employment opportunity are legitimate. While it's reasonable in the early stages of the hiring process for employers to ask you for information about your education, training and qualifications related to a prospective job, don't provide proprietary information until you have at least conducted your own review of the company's background and are certain of its legitimacy.
If you believe that you have been scammed or have questions about offers or scams you should call the Attorney General’s consumer hotline at 1-877-877-9392. The Oregon Department of Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us. Written complaints can be sent to the Financial Fraud / Consumer Protection Section at 1162 Court St. NE, Salem, OR 97301.