Criminals targeting students in employment scams

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CROMWELL —   Connecticut Better Business Bureau has a warning for college graduates looking for a job: Be very careful.  Criminals are snaring students with fake job offers through emails sent to their college accounts.

The pitch is appealing.  One scam message read: “This position offers flexibility that allows you to choose your work hours to avoid conflicts between classes or other business.”

Don’t bother sending your resume.  If you reply to the email, the person on the other end of the telephone will offer you the job without a face-to-face interview.

Employment scams come through email, criminals trolling job sites looking for resumes and contact information, in addition to telephone numbers.

The phony job offers may use the name or variation of a well-known company or use the name of a non-existent business.

The employment scam criminals deceive their victims using four basic tactics:

Asking for bank account information for direct deposit of your paycheck, requiring your Social Security Number and other personal information to “process your paperwork,” requesting payment up front, supposedly for a background check, drug testing and training, and payment is only accepted through non-traceable methods.

Connecticut Better Business Bureau has some tips to protect yourself from employment scams:

  • Make sure it is real – Research the company’s telephone number and website, rather than using information provided in the email or over the telephone. Contact the business directly to verify whether there is an opening.
  • Ask for specifics – If a caller contacts you, ask the name of the company he or she claims to represent.
  • Watch out for on-the-spot job offers – Businesses don’t hire by telephone without a face to face meeting.  Only provide personal information once you receive a written letter of employment.
  • Be realistic – When a job ad says no experience is required, offers easy hours and generous income with minimal work, that’s a major red flag.

Another hint is that some phony job offerings involve working at home, secret shopper positions, or have titles such as caregiver or Customer Service Representative.

You will find additional resources and tips at bbb.org/connecticut.

 

Howard Schwartz, CT BBB Executive Communications Director

 

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