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BBB warns: Employment scams rise as holiday hiring begins


Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker reveals employment scams are on the rise. With the busy holiday hiring season underway, job seekers should be aware of the scope of these scams.

Since January, North America residents have reported more than 3,465 employment scams to BBB Scam Tracker, with over $3 million reported lost. Compare this to the estimated 1,751 employments scams with over $800,000 lost from January to October of last year.

Locally, Oregonians have already reported 27 employment scams, with over $57,480 lost this year.

Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific wants job seekers to be aware of employment scams that often trick “new employees” into giving out their personal information or their hard-earned money.

With fall upon us, many job-seekers may be looking for an easy way to make some extra cash to get through the upcoming holidays. Scammers may take advantage of this opportunity to prey on job seekers with scam job postings, fake recruiter emails and work-at-home schemes.

To avoid employment scams, job hunters should look out for these red flags:

Positions that require little training.Always be wary of?work-from-home or secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title such as a caregiver, administrative assistant, or customer service rep. These positions don’t usually require special training or licensing, which makes it appealing to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads. Vague company descriptions. It’s a huge red flag if you can’t identify the company’s contact information,owner, headquarters or even product from its online ad. Pro tip: check online at to see if the employer has a good rating. Also, watch for legitimate companies being impersonated. Find the real employer website to verify if a job posting is real. No interview. If you are offered a job without a formal interview or job application, it’s most likely a scam. Be wary of jobs that hire on the spot or conduct interviews via online chat or instant messaging services. Job applications that require a fee. The federal government and the U.S. Postal Service never charge for information about jobs or applications for jobs. Be wary of any offer to give you special access or guarantee you a job for a fee –if you are paying for the promise of a job, it’s probably a scam. Recruiters who don’t disclose information. A legitimate recruiter will provide you with a complete contract for their services with cost, what you get, who pays (you or the employer), and what happens if you do not find a job.

If you’ve been a victim of an employment scam, help others avoid being scammed by filing a report at

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. In 2017, people turned to BBB more than 160 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including BBB Northwest & Pacific, which serves more than 15 million consumers in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Hawaii and Western Wyoming.

Article Topic Follows: News

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