Avoid employment scams, especially online

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Watch out for employment scams, especially online

Anyone looking for a job needs to be aware that there are employment scams out there that could cost them plenty of money.
The Internet is prime territory for scammers, and online job seekers fall victim to them every day. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) says there are several common types of scams to be watching for, many of them offering work-at home opportunities.
Reselling or reshipping. Web-based international companies advertise for affiliates, giving individuals the chance to sell high-end electronics at reduced prices. Affiliates are told to offer the merchandise on well-known Internet auction sites. They will accept payment, then pay the company, typically through a wire transfer. The company is supposed to ship the merchandise directly to the buyer. But the merchandise never ships. Defrauded buyers often seek legal action against the affiliates.
Fund transfers. Potential employees are asked to give personal information, as well as copies of driver’s license, birth certificate or social security card. They are told that their salary will be paid by check from a U.S. company that is supposed to be a creditor of the employer. The amount of the check is significantly more than what the employee is owed, so the employee is told to deposit the check into their own account, then wire the overpayment to the employer’s bank (usually located in Eastern Europe). The checks are fraudulent and the victim has sent his or her own money to the scammer.
The IC3 offers these tips to protect yourself against employment scams:
• Be wary of inflated claims of product effectiveness.
• Be cautious of exaggerated claims of possible earnings or profits.
• Beware when money is required up front for instructions or products.
• Be leery when the job posting claims “no experience necessary.”
• Do not give your social security number when first interacting with your prospective employer.
• Be cautious when dealing with individuals outside of your own country.
• Be wary when replying to unsolicited emails for work-at-home employment.
• If you feel you have been the victim of an Internet job scam, report it to ic3.gov.
No companies should be asking for your mother’s maiden name, passwords or social security number in the application process. And no legitimate organization will ask for money up front in exchange for a job. Also, be wary of firms promoting “previously undisclosed” federal government jobs. All federal positions are announced to the public.
Checking with the Better Business Bureau can let you know if a business is legitimate or if there have been complaints filed against it.

Fayette Woman

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September 8, 2009

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