The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) is advising job seekers to be cautious in their search. Scammers will pose as hiring managers, offering unsuspecting consumers fictitious jobs.
In one scam reported to SCDCA’s Identity Theft Unit, a consumer was asked to purchase computer equipment using her own bank account. The scammers requested her bank account number, saying they would direct deposit the funds for the equipment into her account. The consumer ultimately lost over $4,000.
While there are plenty of real jobs available, look for these red flags when job hunting:
• Requests for financial account numbers. Consumers should avoid providing financial information for a potential job. Employers don’t ask for sensitive payroll information until the employee is actually hired.
• Payment of fees. Legitimate employers don’t ask prospective hires to pay up front for certifications, training or background checks in exchange for a job.
• Requests to deposit a check. Scammers may ask a consumer to deposit a fake check and return part of the money using a wire transfer service. If the check is bad, the consumer is responsible for replacing the money.
• Something seems “off” about the job or company. Do some research. Look up the company and contact them directly to verify the posting. Avoid using the contact information provided in the job posting since the individual may be impersonating the company.
If something seems suspicious or too good to be true, walk away. Promises of quick and easy money are often more trouble than they are worth. Scam reporting is an important step in helping SCDCA empower consumers to recognize and avoid scams. For more information on reporting and avoiding scams call 844-TELL DCA (835-5322) or visit www.consumer.sc.gov, then click Report a Scam.
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education. To file a complaint or get information on consumer issues, visit www.consumer.sc.gov or call toll-free, 1-800-922-1594.