Thousands of people count on seasonal hiring to pick up part-time work in the weeks leading up to the holidays. The National Retail Federation says they expect retailers to hire between 500,000 and 550,000 seasonal employees. And, just as the holiday hiring happens every year, bad guys will attempt to lure job seekers into scams.
If you’re looking to pick up a few extra bucks this season, Better Business Bureau urges you to watch for these red flags that job opportunity may be a scam:
Big bucks for simple tasks. Be wary if there is a promise to pay a lot of money for jobs that don’t require much effort or skill.
Job offers out of nowhere from strangers. If they offer you a job without getting an application from you, meeting you, or doing an interview, it’s probably a scam. Don’t hand over your personal information, especially your Social Security Number or banking account information. This could lead to identity theft.
Requests for up-front payments. If someone wants you to make an advanced payment or buy materials to start working from home, this is a red flag. You should not have to pay money to start a job.
You are asked to wire money. If you wire a payment to somebody, assume it’s gone forever. Scam artists will often ask you to wire payments (especially to destinations in other countries) because they know you won’t be able to get your money back.
High pressure to commit now. Don’t be in a hurry to accept an unsolicited offer, or to make a business investment, particularly if the other party is pressuring you to commit and spend money now. Take your time and research the business. If somebody tries to convince you that this is a “limited time” offer and you have to act now, just walk away.
Refusal to give you full details in writing. Ask for complete information in writing. Look carefully at any documentation provided to make sure it answers all of your questions. If the “employer” won’t give details, or doesn’t respond to questions, don’t do business with them.
There is no contact information. Be cautious if a company is trying to get you to accept a job, but does not have a physical location or address available. A cellphone number and website address are not enough to prove the business exists.
Watch for imposters. Bad guys love to impersonate real employers. If you come across a job listing that looks like it’s from a recognizable company, take the time to double check on the company’s official website. If you can’t find the position listed there, it’s likely a scam.
Always check out potential employers’ Business Profiles at bbb.org.