CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is urging West Virginians who may be looking for work to be on the lookout for fake job postings and other employment scams online.
Earlier this year, the Better Business Bureau put out an alert about fraudulent job postings after scammers posted ads on Craigslist soliciting job applications for positions at the Better Business Bureau. Scammers often will use the names of reputable businesses or organizations to trick jobseekers into handing over sensitive personal information.
“Many people in West Virginia are looking for work or searching for new career opportunities,,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Scammers see this as fertile ground to try to snag new victims, and they have been flooding online job sites with these phony offers.”
These job scams can take many forms. In some cases, applicants receive a check in the mail after being “hired,” and are instructed to cash the check, keep a portion for “payment,” and send the rest back to the “company.” Or, the applicant may be asked to front the costs of training, but the training never materializes. Other scams require the applicant to fill out a lengthy, detailed application that includes information such as his or her Social Security number and banking information.
“Always, always be wary of any sort of online job application that asks you to submit a fee to apply or for pre-job training,” Morrisey said. “Legitimate job offers don’t require a person to pay a fee to just apply or interview.”
While browsing online job postings, there are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Be suspicious of ads that contain phrases like “work from home,” or “no experience needed.” While there are many legitimate home-based businesses, scammers use these phrases to entice a wide range of applicants.
- Look to see if the advertised job is available on the company’s website, or call the company directly. Don’t rely on the website or telephone number listed in the ad, as it may be a fake.
- Put the job ad’s title into a search engine to see what comes up. If you see the exact same listing in several different cities, the odds are good it’s a scam.
“Landing the perfect job can be very competitive, and many times, people feel the pressure to act quickly before doing a thorough check of exactly what is being offered,” Morrisey said. “Take the time to be an informed job seeker, and make sure you don’t lose your money to any bad actors.”
If you have been the victim of a fraudulent job posting, or want to report a suspicious listing, call the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808.