As the unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent, Better Business Bureau warns that scammers are taking advantage of the opportunity by preying on the unemployed. Identifying the common red flags of a scam is one way for job hunters to protect themselves and their wallet.
According to the Labor Department, new jobless claims in mid-August unexpectedly jumped to 500,000, an increase of 12,000 over the previous week. Not only did jobless claims rise suddenly, but the length of unemployment is bleak for many. According to a July report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 45 percent of unemployed Americans had been out of work for more than 6 months.
“The dismal employment rate means that a lot of people are desperate for work and may be grasping for any job which creates a great opportunity for scammers,” Kim States, BBB President. “Not thoroughly researching a job opportunity can make a bad situation even worse and a victim can lose hundreds or even thousands of dollars to any number of job-related scams.”
BBB recommends looking out for the following seven red flags when searching for a job:
Red Flag: The employer offers the opportunity to become rich without leaving home
While many legitimate businesses allow employees to work from home, there are also a lot of scammers trying to take advantage of senior citizens, stay-at-home moms, students and injured or handicapped people looking to make money conveniently at home. Job hunters should use extreme caution when considering a work-at-home offer and always research the company with their BBB first www.tucson.bbb.org.
Red Flag: The employer asks for money upfront
It is rarely advisable for an applicant to pay upfront fees or make a required purchase to get a job. BBB often hears from job hunters who paid a phony employer for supposedly required background checks or training for jobs that didn’t exist. Always research the job thoroughly before opening up your wallet. (more…)