Better Business Bureau: Some signs that potential job could be a scam

September 12, 2013 

The price for being a nanny in Mountain Home — set at four hours a day, Monday-Friday for two children — is $400. It also includes a $50 a week transportation fee.

Sound like a great deal for a part-time job — $1600 a month, plus $200 for gas? Yeh! That's what Nicole Knackert told BBB.

"I have responded to a job posting on Craigslist for babysitting," she says. "I had asked for the specific hours and got no answer to that question, John had replied in an email saying my first check would be coming in the mail."

He wrote that he was moving his family — wife and two children — to Mountain Home from Germany. The advance pay was “to secure your service."

Knackert said a follow-up email stated that a second check would arrive and she would use part of it to pay rent on the family’s apartment.

"I am not sure if I should reply any further or if this is even real or a scam," she says.

Almost daily, someone looking for work gets involved with "advance payment" work-at-home schemes. BBB warns consumers to do their homework when responding to job ads online. Always make sure you check with the hiring business responsible for posting the ad. Don’t provide too much personal information up front — you are putting your identity at risk. Also, check with the BBB to get an overall view of the company.

These requests or statements may tip you off to a scheme:

Credit Report Scam. After applying to a Craigslist job posting, a response is sent to the applicant saying the company is interested in discussing this job in person. In order to go ahead to the next step in the hiring process, the applicant will need to get a credit report checked. The email provides a website link where it requests personal information including name, address, social security number, etc.

Pay for Background Check Scam. With this scam, a job seeker is told a position has just opened up and an interview is conducted. The applicant is notified that they would be responsible for the cost of the background check. Then the applicant is told that they have to purchase a pre-paid $75 Visa debit card to pay for the background check.

Pay for Software/Programs Scam. The company conducts a job briefing and interview. The company then explains that the applicant will need to buy programs in advance and say they will reimburse the candidate.

Phony Personal Assistant Scam. With this scam, the applicant is told they have been hired for a personal assistant position for an individual/company that is out of the area. After completing a few menial tasks, the job seeker will receive a check to deposit in their own personal account with wire transfer instructions. The deposited check will bounce and the victim is responsible for the funds sent by the bank.

Excessive Salary Scam. Most scams come with a higher-than-expected salary offer. In a depressed economy, good paying part-time work is better than nothing, and con artists know this. In addition, fraudsters living overseas have no idea what the going rate is for workers in the area.

Robb Hicken: 947-2115

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