BBB warns new scam targets people searching for jobs

TULSA, Okla. — The Better Business Bureau (BBB) told FOX23 about a new scam targeting people looking for a new job.

The BBB said you’ll get a message from someone interested in hiring you, saying they found your resume on a job search site.

“At first, the person who reaches out to you, they may seem like they’re legitimate they’re asking really good questions, they seem really interested in you, but what they want you to do is download this messaging app,” said Bryce Marshall, BBB.

>>>MORE: BBB warns of email scam targeting social media.

After reaching out, Marshall said the person will try to get a lot of personal information from you right off the bat.

“They’re really quick to hire you, they’re saying it’s going to be a really large salary but what they want you to do is start giving them a whole bunch of personal information way up front, they say we need to go ahead and get all your banking information, so we can get direct deposits started for you,” he said.

Marshall said they won’t use any kind of official form, and you’ll go ahead and give them this banking information.

>>>MORE: BBB says beware of SAT prep scams.

“They’ll either use this to start drawing money out of your account or they may even take it a step further and say that they’re going to help you start setting up a home office if it’s a remote job and they’ll say that they’re going to send you a check for so much money, for either a laptop or a desk or something and basically that check will either bounce because it’s fake or whenever you try to get reimbursement for all the money that you spent that company is long gone,” he said.

One victim told the BBB a woman claimed to be their training manager and asked for pictures of the home office, then sent checks to deposit.

She said to send it to a vendor who oversaw new supplies, then said the payment didn’t go through and demanded he go to the bank, withdraw the nearly $3,000 in cash and deposit it to the nearest Bitcoin ATM.

He told her he wasn’t interested in the job and immediately blocked her on the messaging app.

How to avoid employment scams:

  • Research job offers first. Visit a company’s website and look up their contact information. Verify the company exists and the job posting is real before you interact with a stranger. Do an internet search with the company’s name and the word “scam” to see if anyone has reported a fake job offer. Look on BBB.org to see any unresolved complaints or negative reviews.
  • Beware of jobs that involve receiving and returning money. Legitimate companies don’t generally send money to new employees before work is done. They certainly don’t ask you to return funds that you’ve already been paid.
  • Be careful with your personal information. Never provide anyone with your personal information until you are sure you can trust them with it. Do all the necessary research before divulging anything personal. Never let someone pressure you into giving up your personal information because it’s a “now or never” offer.
  • Watch out for easy hires. If a company claims they want to hire you without meeting you either virtually or in-person, and if they don’t conduct a job interview, you’re probably dealing with a scammer.
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