Fraudulent job adverts preying on job-seekers

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Job hunters looking for flexibility or easy work are being drawn to scam ads over the real opportunities organizations are posting.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) reported that they received more than 65,000 job listing fraud complaints in 2013, with an increase during the summer hiring season when students flooded the market.

“It can be tempting to go for opportunities promising easy money,” said Sandra Crozier-McKee, president and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay. “But we encourage job hunters to do their homework and fully understand an opportunity before accepting it.”

Many of the complaints came from people who applied for jobs listed on legitimate job sites, and some scammers even use the names of real local employers to add credibility to their claim.

The most common type of scam included some kind of false cheque, which the worker then had to pay back. For example, applicants are asked to “test” money transfer systems by cashing a cheque and transferring the funds back, but when the cheque is later revealed to be fraudulent the victim can be left on the hook for the cash.

These scam companies have also requested “employee” information such as banking information and Social Security numbers under the ruse of Human Resources information to later commit identity theft.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to search for any postings with your organization’s name in it to ensure your good reputation is not being used to mislead people. If you find anything suspect, report it to the BBB.

When hiring temporary summer workers or other roles that might at first glance appear similar to some of the common scams, explain the hiring process you'll go through, the opportunities the job offers and invite candidates to check your organization on the BBB website, which keeps records of companies reported for scams.


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