Don’t become prey to scammers when job hunting
Via OA Online : Looking for a job or internship can be tough and time-consuming. Unfortunately, scammers know this and advertise jobs where legitimate employers do — online, in newspapers, on TV and on the radio. If you are on the hunt for a job, Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin advises you to beware of job scams.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers will promote outdated or fake job openings, or charge upfront fees for services or training materials.
They will claim they can guarantee job placement after you pay; however, the promised job never materializes and the company does not return your calls.
If you need to pay to get the job or have to provide your credit card or bank account number, that is a red flag.
In 2014, BBB received over 300 consumer complaints against job listing and advisory services nationwide. Most complaints reported issues with advertising and billing or collection.
This year alone, over 60 employment-related scams have been reported through BBB’s Scam Tracker, an online interactive map and resource for consumers to find and report scams. In Texas, employment scams have been reported as recent as August 2015.
Before you enlist help from a job placement business, BBB advises you:
>> Research the business first. If a company or organization is mentioned in an ad or interview, contact that company directly to find out if the company is really hiring through the service.
>> Get details in writing. If you use services from a job placement firm, find out the cost, what you will get and if you or the company that hires you pays. If the service doesn’t find a job for you or provides any real leads, what happens? If they are reluctant to answer your questions, or give confusing answers, you may be hesitant to work with them.
>> Get a copy of the contract and read it carefully. Take the time to read the contract. A legitimate company won’t pressure you into signing then and there. Also, make sure any promises — including refund promises — are in writing. Some listing services and “consultants” write ads to sound like jobs, but they are really selling general information about getting a job — information you can find on your own for free.
>> Know the difference between “job placement” and “job counseling”. Executive or career counseling services help people with career directions and decisions. They may offer services like skills identification and self-evaluation, resume preparation, cover letter writing, interview technique, and general information about companies or organizations in a particular location or job field. However, job placement is not guaranteed and counseling service fees can be expensive.
>> Protect your identity. Don’t give out your credit card or bank account information over the phone to a company unless you are familiar with them and have agreed to pay for something.
>> Don’t pay upfront fees. Beware of any company that wants you to pay fees upfront. Employers and employment firms shouldn’t ask you to pay for the promise of a job.
If you have been targeted by a job scam, you can file a complaint with the FTC and your local BBB. For issues with employment service companies, you can contact the Texas Attorney General or the Texas Workforce Commission. To find or report a scam, visit bbb.org/central-texas.
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