SCAMS AND RIP-OFFS
RVCC Career Services makes every effort to ensure the credibility of listed websites and jobs posted on our Lion Job Board. However, it is very important for you to educate yourself about potential scams. “Earn $3000 a day!” sounds great, but it’s not likely to be true. How do you spot scams and rip-offs in job postings?
Here are some good tips that the job is probably fraudulent:
- You must provide your credit card, bank account numbers, or other personal financial documentation.
- The position requires an initial investment, such as a payment by wire service or courier.
- The position indicates a "first year compensation" that is much higher than the average compensation for that position type. Often the ad promises this large salary for doing very little work and with no experience required.
- The salary range listed is very wide (i.e. "employees can earn from $40K - $80K the first year!")
- The posting neglects to mention the actual responsibilities of the job. Instead, the description focuses on the amount of money to be made.
- The posting appears to be from a reputable, familiar company (often a Fortune 500). Yet, the domain in the contact's email address does not match the domain used by representatives of the company (this is typically easy to determine from the company's website). Another way to validate is to check the open positions on the company's website.
- The posting includes many spelling and grammatical errors.
- You are offered a large payment or reward in exchange for allowing the use of your bank account (often for depositing checks or transferring money).
- You are asked to provide a photo of yourself.
- The employer contacts you by phone; however there is no way to call them back. The number is not available.
- The employer tells you that they do not have an office set-up in your area, and will need you to help them get it up and running (these postings often include a request for your banking information, supposedly to help the employer make transactions).
- When you Google the company name and the word "scam" (i.e. Acme Company scam), the results show several scam reports concerning this company.
- Look at the company's website. Does it have an index that tells you what the site is about; or does it contain information only about the job you are interested in? Scammers often create quick, basic web pages that seem legit at first glance.
- Watch for anonymity. If it is difficult to find an address, actual contact information, company name, etc., this is cause to proceed with caution. Fraud postings are illegal, so scammers will try to keep themselves well-hidden.
- Google the employer's phone number, fax number and/or email address. If it does not appear connected to an actual business organization, this is a red flag. Sites to help verify organizations include Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org/us/consumers/), Hoovers (http://www.hoovers.com/) and AT&T's Anywho (http://www.anywho.com/).
If you suspect a position is fraudulent, please contact the RVCC Career Services office. If you believe you are the victim of fraud resulting from a job listing, please contact the local police as well. If it is a situation where you sent money to a fraudulent employer, contact your bank or credit card company immediately to close the account and dispute the charges. If the incident occurred completely over the Internet, file an incident report with the: http://www.cybercrime.gov/, or by calling the FTC at: 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
The Federal Trade Commission has a great, short video on job scams. You can find it here: http://ftc.gov/multimedia/video/scam-watch/job-scams.shtm