RALEIGH, NC – Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina (www.bbb.org) urges consumers to be cautious when searching job listings through online classified sites.
BBB has received an increase in inquiries about employment opportunities seeking to obtain financial and personal information from applicants who respond to job postings on sites including Craigslist and Monster.com. According to consumers, the opportunities looked legitimate at first; however, after several email correspondences with the alleged company, they were directed to a link and prompted to enter their credit card and bank account information.
One Raleigh consumer responded to a classified ad on Raleigh Craigslist for a receptionist position at a “Prestigious Dental Clinic” in Raleigh. Neither the company’s name, nor contact information was included in the description, but a gmail address was given for applicants to express interest. Within a week of sending a resume, the consumer heard back from a different email address than the one listed in the Craigslist posting. David Pohl, who is described as the Office Manager of Dental Arts in the email signature, responded with regret that the position had been filled but offered an administrative position. The following day the consumer received another email with an update that the position would be available soon, and that one benefit of the position is a free teeth whitening kit. A link was provided to the site where consumers could enter their credit card information to pay shipping costs for the kit.
BBB has also heard from consumers who have had similar results when responding to job postings for a dental office receptionist on Monster.com, Career Builder and Craigslist. These postings are alike in description, but after emailing the alleged company, their credit information is requested for a credit check and they only accept the information through a link to a “special site.”
“Scammers take every opportunity to use current events as a platform for their malicious acts, and right now unemployment is one of the issues scam artists are using to make a fast buck,” said Beverly Baskin, President & CEO of BBB serving Eastern North Carolina. “Job hunters should be extremely cautious in their search for work and research opportunities before providing personal information to someone they do not know.”
Before applying for a job with an unfamiliar company, BBB recommends consumers research the company and opportunity.
When searching online for work, BBB advises job hunters to beware of:
Classified listings that do not provide information on the business. If you cannot find a contact person, a physical address, or a phone number it is a red flag.
Prospective recruiters or employers who request a background check before providing information about the job or their company. Agree to provide personal information for a background check only after you have met with them at their company location during regular work hours.
Job offers requiring an upfront fee from applicants. You should never have to pay for a job, or potential leads.
Job placement assistance that makes big promises they can’t deliver. If you are paying for job placement services, don’t provide credit card or bank information or engage in any monetary transactions unless done in person, onsite, with a prospective recruiter or job agency.
Phishing attempts by ID thieves pretending to be real businesses. Some ads on legitimate job sites use recognizable company logos and links to fake Web sites that appear to be those of real organizations.