Compiled by Matt Loeschman
PHOENIX — Whenever the economy threatens to take a dip, scammers love to bring back the good old employment scams.
The Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker has gotten multiple reports of a new job scam twist that involves downloading a messaging app.
How the scam works
You receive a message from someone interested in hiring you. It might come through email, text, or even a social media platform. They claim to have seen your resume on a job search site and want to interview you for a position.
But first, you need to download a messaging app, such as Telegram.
Once you download the app, the “recruiter” will begin sending you messages asking you to complete a few interview questions, then offer you a position followed by an official-looking contract to fill out and sign.
After you sign, the scammer will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and banking information, claiming they need to add you to direct deposit payroll and other company systems. If you provide this sensitive information, you could easily become a victim of identity theft.
How to avoid employment scams
• Research job offers first. Visit a company’s website and look up their contact information. Verify the company exists and the job posting is real before you interact with a stranger. Do an internet search with the company’s name and the word “scam” to see if anyone has reported a fake job offer. Look on BBB.org to see any unresolved complaints or negative reviews.
• Beware of jobs that involve receiving and returning money. Legitimate companies don’t generally send money to new employees before work is done. They certainly don’t ask you to return funds that you’ve already been paid.
• Be careful with your personal information. Never provide anyone with your personal information until you are sure you can trust them with it. Do all the necessary research before divulging anything personal. Never let someone pressure you into giving up your personal information because it’s a “now or never” offer.
• Watch out for easy hires. If a company claims they want to hire you without meeting you either virtually or in-person, and if they don’t conduct a job interview, you’re probably dealing with a scammer.
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