Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – a United States government agency that protects and educates consumers – is warning job seekers looking for employment to be aware of job scams, according to a blog entitled “Looking for a new job? Watch out for scams” written by FTC Consumer Education Specialist Ari Lazarus.

“So if you’re looking for a way to make extra money, searching online can be a good start. But scammers are there, too, and post fake job ads designed to trick you into sharing personal information or sending money in exchange for the promise of a job that doesn’t exist,” wrote Lazarus, who offered ways to avoid job scams:

  • Be suspicious if you’re offered a job without an interview. Scammers might say they’re out of town, too busy, or have another excuse for not talking to you by phone or in person.
  • If you get a check before you start a job, it could be a scam. The person “hiring you” might say: it’s your first paycheck, to use the money to buy supplies, or for caregivers hired online that it’s for expenses related to caring for their loved one. But later they’ll tell you to send part of the money to someone else or return it to them. They’ll have excuses, but the main thing to know is this: the check is fake. By the time the bank realizes it, the scammer has your money (if you sent it), and the bank will want you to repay the money you withdrew.
  • Check out potential employers before giving them any sensitive information. Search online for their name, email address, phone number, and even the text of the message they sent. You might find that others have had bad experiences and been scammed by the same people, or in a similar way.

The FTC works to promote competition and to protect and educate consumers. To learn more about consumer topics and report scams, fraud, and bad business practices online, visit ReportFraud.ftc.gov. To learn more about the FTC, receive consumer alerts, read blogs, subscribe to press releases, and visit www.ftc.gov.

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