BBB: Employment scams spike amid holiday hiring frenzy

DENVER -- Job searchers looking to make some extra money for the holidays may want to make sure the job they're applying for is real. 

Every year, the Better Business Bureau sees an uptick in employment scam complaints from August through the holiday season. They're those temporary jobs you may see out there that promise extra cash for the holidays, and every year people are taken advantage of.

Last year, between August and December, 15 people fell victim to employment scams. Five people reported losing money totaling $5,000. 

Most of the scam job offers are listed on Craigslist, but the BBB said some are being sent via email.  

"We always say to do a little bit of extra legwork before you apply for those jobs," said BBB spokesperson Krista Ferndelli. "You should follow up with an in-person meeting, or phone call to the company that states that they're hiring and see if you can get a face to face meeting."

Some common employment scams:

  • Phishing: Scammers entice applicants to participate in the hiring process for a nonexistent job. The purpose of the scam is to fool applicants into providing sensitive data such as social security numbers and/or banking information, and occasionally direct funds. 
  • Reshipping: Scammers solicit job-seekers for “work from home” employment opportunities. Typically, these “jobs” involve receiving, repackaging, and reshipping packages at the victim’s home or business address. The packages often contain items purchased using stolen information, as well as stolen or smuggled materials. 
  • Employee recruiting: Scammers target employers (rather than job applicants), offering to find suitable job candidates. After collecting an up-front fee, the scammers provide phony resumes and eventually become unresponsive. 

To report a scam to the BBB: click here

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