Job seekers warned as nefarious employment scams on rise



Rome Sentinel Co.


The New York State Division of Consumer Protection has some advice for job seekers on how to avoid common employment scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the number of reported scams for business and job opportunities quadrupled from 2018 to 2022, and in 2022 consumers lost 75% more money from business and job opportunity fraud compared to the prior year. Some employment scams involve the scammer sending a text message to the victim with job openings and offers, then requesting they download a specific phone application to conduct the interview — an app that then preys upon your phone and personal information. “Employment scams are becoming more and more of a problem as nefarious scammers continue to leverage pandemic and economic stress to take advantage of job seekers,” said Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “To minimize the risk of falling victim to an employment scam, I encourage you to follow our tips, take precautions during your job search and learn the warning signs so you can recognize the difference between a real employment opportunity and a scam.” Job search safety tips: • Be wary of potential employers who want personal information prior to an interview or offer to hire you without an interview or meeting. Be wary if they only communicate via text message or an app. • Watch out for up-front placement fees or other charges as a condition of your employment. Never send money for the promise of landing a job. Legitimate employers and recruiters will never ask a candidate to pay to a get a job or for a background check. Do not agree to transfer, receive and/or deposit money or receive or send packages, especially from outside the United States. • Be wary if they ask you to download any applications, or if they do not provide a job description or cannot describe the position. • Never give out personal information to potential employers until you know the opportunity is legitimate. • Research organizations before applying. Scammers often promote non-existent job opportunities, so verify a job posting by visiting a company’s official website or by calling the company directly. Confirm the contact methods, such as the email and phone number used. • If the offer is too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of postings for high-paying and fully remote jobs that require no resume or no experience. • Always ask questions about the role and take the time to confirm details outlined in the job description. Scammers often dodge questions or provide vague answers.