The trials of job scams
IF YOU ARE LOOKING for work, it is important
to be aware of the many different scams that prey on
vulnerable and eager job seekers. Here are some
common scams you should be on the lookout for.
Although direct deposit paychecks are fine
when the employer is legitimate, con artists who
have used a job ad to lure an unsuspecting job
seeker may tell the job seeker they can only pay
wages by direct deposit, and ask for the job seeker’s bank account number. Armed with the personal bank account number, they can steal both
your identity and your money.
To avoid falling victim to payment transfer scams:
• Do not give personal bank account, PayPal
account or credit-card numbers to an employer.
• Do not agree to have funds or paychecks direct-deposited to any of your accounts by a new employer.
• Do not forward, transfer or wire money to
The chance to work from home seems too good
to pass up. While there are some legitimate work-from-home opportunities, if it’s a scam, the company offering the job will never pay. Many of these
jobs will require a large financial investment on your
part to get up and running. To avoid the work-from-home scams:
• Avoid advertisements that promise you will
get rich quick.
• Research the company before agreeing to do
• Never agree to be trained from home, and
never pay for training material.
•Ask how often you will be paid. Get this
information in writing, and do not work until you
are promised a prompt payment.
Some online ads offer the chance to earn $100
a day or $10,000 or more per month in an exciting
entry-level position, often in sports, TV or film
(fields that are incredibly hard to break into).
Before you get dressed up and drive out to the job
• Instead of just providing references, research
the company as well. Learn what it is they do before
setting out for an interview. If you can’t find anything, this is likely a scam.
Scams offering a variety of jobs
Sometimes a company advertises a job and lists
several job titles, such as sales, customer service and
office administration positions, that are available.
More in archives
On Costco.com, enter
“Connection.” At Online Edition,
search “David Horowitz.”
Few companies are in need of this many positions
(though some temp agencies may advertise for a
large number). If the ad tells you to “hurry now” or
says there are only 10 positions left, this is likely a
scam. Usually there is no job at all, and this is
another instance of a scam artist simply trying to
obtain information about you. Other red flags are:
• The ad does not include a company name.
• The ad does not include a website for the
company or links to find out more details.
Unsolicited e-mail job scams
You receive an unsolicited e-mail message, and
the return e-mail address is a personal account, not a
company e-mail. In most cases, such e-mails are sent
by a crook who is simply trying to get your personal
information. If you respond, you are likely to encounter many red flags, such as a substantial fee that is
charged when submitting your résumé, or simply a
link to a pay service that offers job listings
if you pay the expensive monthly subscription price. To avoid trouble:
• Search online for the company’s name. You may find other victims warning others about this
scam. If there is no listing,
the company is likely fake.
•Never give out personal information.
• Beware if the company
does not offer a face-to-face
I PURCHASED a brand-new
condo, which came with
However, all of the appliances required multiple service calls within the first year
under warranty. Even after
the appliances were serviced,
they still did not perform
properly. Now my kitchen
is barely functional. Since I
bought the condo with all of
the appliances included, getting a refund seems impossible. What recourse do I have?
For updated tips on
online job-seeking safety,
For reports on common
job scams, see www.worldpri
To file a complaint,
To find consumer protection agencies in your area,
Most companies are equipped
with a product-replacement
policy. This means that the
company is responsible not
just for servicing them under
the warranty, but for replacing
broken parts. First, go online
and read what other cus-
tomers have done in
You may see a pat-
tern in regard to
your specific prod-
ucts. Then, armed
with that informa-
tion, show proof
that you have
had the items ser-
viced and they still
do not work. Try to
call someone higher up
than customer service,
such as an executive or
a manager who can
guarantee he or she
will resolve your issue.
Remember, as a customer
who owns these appli-
ances you are entitled to
proper care, and do not
hesitate to demand it. C
© 2011 FIGH T BACK! INC. ALL RIGH TS RESERVED.
AMY CAN TRELL
David Horowitz is a leading consumer advocate (
He is a frequent guest on radio and television stations. Consult your
local listings for dates and times.
Just log on to
www.fightback.com and “Ask David.” For a fee, he will personally
respond to your problem if you follow the instructions printed on his website.
(Costco members receive a rebate off the normal fee.) Questions and answers of the
greatest interest to Costco members will be used in this column (with the permission
of the contributor) and will be posted on