With unemployment still a large problem in Oregon and the United States as a whole, many Americans are desperate for any work they can possibly find. Many people take to the Internet to use convenient online job searches and applications. Unfortunately, scammers have realized how to take advantage of online job seekers by soliciting money or personal information that is then used in identity theft schemes.
Sometimes these scammers post their jobs on valid, well-known job search websites. Other times, the scammers directly contact the individuals with job offers, usually via email. Sometimes, job seekers can be fooled even if they do some internet research on the company, as scammers are building websites using legitimate business names to try to get people to enter their personal information. To try to protect job seekers within the state, the Oregon Employment Service Programs for Job Seekers offers the following tips for job seekers to avoid scams.
· A job offer is received via email, though you have not had an interview.
· An upfront processing fee is required.
· An upfront fee for mandatory training is required for job consideration.
· The initial application requires a copy of your birth certificate, driver’s license, social security card, or bank information such as your account numbers or mother’s maiden name.
· They require a copy of your credit report.
· They send you a check that you are supposed to deposit into your account and request that you then make purchases, wire money, or make overnight shipments to a third party. The initial check usually ends up being counterfeit and you may be on the hook for the money.
· All correspondence comes from a generic webmail account and not a company email address.
· You are asked to do “quality control” for a shipping company and will have to receive packages and verify shipments. The packages usually contain goods bought with stolen credit.
Do your Research
Usually companies will ask for your work history and education up front, but will not need personal information such as your social security number until later in the application process. Do not provide any such information until you have thoroughly researched the legitimacy of a company. You may also call the Attorney General’s consumer hotline if you have questions about a particular employment scam. Overall, job seekers should be wary of any unsolicited online job offers or any employment arrangements that require money up front or that seem too good to be true.
Whether you are an employer or an employee, if you have any questions or concerns about any employment issues, do not hesitate to contact the experienced employment lawyers at HKM today. Call our office at 503.389.1130 to schedule a consultation as soon as possible.