I have been warning you about employment related scams for years and today’s scam represents the most recent incarnation of employment scams.  Searching for a job online has become the norm for many job seekers and there are many legitimate online employment websites such as Indeed.com, Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com, however, merely because an ad for a job appears on a legitimate website does not mean that the job is for real.  It may be just a scam seeking either personal information to make you a victim of identity theft, your money or both.  Although Indeed.com, Career builder.com, Monster.com and other online employment agencies do their best to screen their ads, they can’t come even close to being perfect.

Scammers will often do research on their victims and read their resumes sent in response to a phony ad.  They then contact the victim and offer him or her a job, but tell  the victim that he or she will need to purchase some equipment and pay a fee for training.  A check is sent to the victim to pay for the equipment.  The unwary victim deposits the counterfeit check, gets provisional credit from his or her bank and then following instructions from the scammer, wires the money for the training fee or equipment to the scammer before the check is discovered to be counterfeit which can take weeks.  At this point the funds are taken back by the bank from the victim’s account, but the money wired to the scammer is lost forever.  Recently a Scamicide reader applied for an oficer manager job on Indeed.com and was contacted by scammers who identified themselves as Zelisoft Systems and sent her a check for $6.500 to buy supplies.  Fortunately, the Scamicide reader was far to savvy for the scammers and researched the company and found that it didn’t exist.  The Scamicide reader also recognized that this was a scam because while the scammers had no problem sending the bogus check to her, they never sent her a contract.

In a variation of employment scams we have seen increase during the Coronavirus pandemic, the scammers will actually do face-to-face interviews over Zoom or similar services to make the interview and the ensuing offer of employment appear more legitimate. However, in many of these scams the next step, however, is the counterfeit check scam I described in the preceding paragraph.

TIPS

Never spend money to apply for a job.  Legitimate employers do not require fees.  Google the address, telephone number and name of the company to see if it matches what you have been told.  Don’t send a resume with personal information, such as your Social Security number that can be used to make you a victim of identity theft.  If an ad appears to be from a company that you know is legitimate, confirm by a telephone call to the real company’s HR department that the ad you are answering is legitimate.  A legitimate company will eventually need your Social Security number, but not early in the process.  Make sure that you have confirmed that the job is legitimate before providing this information.  Additionally, no legitimate employer will ever send you a check for more than what you are owed and ask you to send back the difference.  That is the basis of many scams.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide has been cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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