Mar 21, 2012 03:40 PM EDT

Employment Scam

Beware of fraudulent employment offers.  Many ads in newspapers and on the Internet promise glamorous jobs, big money working part time, work-at-home opportunities, or similar come-ons.  Be a careful consumer and learn the facts before you leap. 

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not real employment.

Many of the "jobs" advertised describe fabulous opportunities but are actually only scams to take your money. Suspicious "jobs" usually require people to send money in advance for information about the "opportunity".

Protect Yourself

  • Don't pay any fees upfront
  • Never give out your credit card information
  • Never give out your social security number until you are actually hired by a real company
  • Beware of ads with a 900 number
  • Check out companies before you get involved

Typical Scams to Avoid

Working At Home

Many work-at-home situations are scams. At best, they are an attempt to get cheap labor and to avoid the cost and obligations of having real employees (Social Security, Workers Compensation, Unemployment taxes, and withholding taxes). Although working at home is possible and can be legal, caution is advised before accepting any advertised work-at-home schemes.

Mystery Shoppers

Consumers should beware of the hundreds of web sites claiming to provide good, flexible, and fun jobs.  Only a few are legitimate sources of real work.

Job Openings with Major Industries

These ads claim to get you a job with the Postal Service, airlines, cruise lines, overseas, government, or utility companies. Usually the ads are really selling a packet of information or help with a government hiring test.  The information is usually out dated or available for free from other public sources.  No employment service can guarantee you a job!

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