Better Business Bureau warns of a work-from-home employment scam that's claimed victims across North America. A BBB investigation revealed that scammers took the names of legitimate companies in Nova Scotia, Canada, but most of the job seekers targeted have been from the United States.
"The scammers advertise work-from-home administrative assistant positions through Indeed.com, a popular online job site. One man reported to BBB that his mother lost $4,500 after following the 'employer’s' instructions to deposit fraudulent checks and transfer funds to a different account. This is a typical tactic used in employment scams," said BBB's Emily Valla.
BBB Serving Atlantic Provinces was alerted to the fraud when two legitimate construction companies in Nova Scotia, Partners Construction and Brooks Levy Construction, Ltd., suddenly began receiving more than 1,000 inquiries on their BBB Business Profiles.
"BBB's office also received phone calls and emails from across North America inquiring about the legitimacy of the companies and the posted jobs. At the time, neither company was looking for new employees. BBB posted an alert on each of the companies’ Business Profiles explaining that their names are being used maliciously," Valla explained.
For people who are interested in working from home, Valla says some job titles are more likely than others to be scams.
"Always be wary of work-from-home or secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title such as a caregiver, administrative assistant, or customer service rep. Jobs that don't require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads," Valla said.
BBB says if the job posting is for a well-known brand, check the real company's job page to see if the position is posted there. Then search online for the job. If you see the job coming up in other cities with the same post, it’s likely a scam.
Valla says to also watch out for on-the-spot job offers.
"You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring," Valla said.
And don't fall for an overpayment scam.
"No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask for money to be wired elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers. And be cautious sharing personal information or any kind of pre-payment. Be careful if a company promises you great opportunities or big income as long as you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories," Valla said.
For more information, visit www.bbb.org.