Beware Online Job Scams Are On The Rise

Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 2:00 AM | Leave Comment

I receive many emails about offers for work-from-home or virtual job almost everyday. You probably do too. They often sound tempting, but most often they are so-called “payment forwarding” or “payment transfer” scams.

The scammers word their emails with lots of misspelling and grammatical mistakes. But then again many Americans with legitimate job offers have the same problem – misspelling and grammatical errors.

That’s when a seemingly legitimate company lures job seekers into depositing a check into a personal account, then forwarding the funds to a third party. The checks then bounce, leaving the victim on the financial hook.

Job ads:

The job ads have different forms. Your intelligence can come into play only when you stop hurrying to the bank. Don’t rush. Be cool.

Many emails have similar general theme. The scammer’s email might:

  • Request your bank account, Social Security, PayPal or credit card number.

  • Ask to “verify your identity” by scanning your driver’s license or other ID.

  • Use an email address that is not a primary domain (i.e., calls itself “Omega Inc.” but has a Yahoo or AOL address).

  • Include certain phrases or words, such as “package-forwarding,” “money transfers,” “wiring funds,” “eBay,” “PayPal” or “Foreign Agent Agreement.

  • Contain misspellings and grammatical mistakes.

Job seekers:

Some job seekers just don’t get it. They read articles like this one and still get blinded by their greed. They have not been able to get a job in more legitimate ways. They are what is generally known as being vulnerable.

  • Don’t give out personal account information to a prospective employer, especially if you have never met them in person.

  • Don’t agree to direct deposit of paychecks until you know your employer. But why would they send you money in the first place?

  • Don’t forward, transfer or wire money to an employer, no matter how compelling the request may sound.

Sebiaa was smart to smell the stinking email…

Media have reported:

Sebiaa’s unseen boss, supposedly in Sweden meeting clients, emailed her first assignment: She’d receive a $1,100 check, to be deposited into her own account.

After deducting $150 as the first week’s “pay,” she was to wire the remainder to an address in the Philippines.

“As soon as she told me that, I knew it was like things I’ve read about Craigslist scams,” said the 21-year-old. “It smelled really fishy.”

Officially known as a “payment-transfer” or Nigerian check scheme, it’s a familiar scam that has seduced many adult job seekers for years, not even college students are immune to it.

Reasons why folks fall for job scams…

There are a few reasons why people fall for these kinds of scams:

  • Greed has always taken over human mind regardless whether someone is already loaded with money or especially when someone is already loaded with money. Scams can’t tell the difference between kings, princes and paupers.

  • Vulnerability plays a huge part in these kinds of scams. Whether folks lack good jobs or have been fortunate to work in the best job ever, they feel lack of eternal satisfaction.

  • Miley Cyrus syndrome which goes like: “I wanna be a part of something I don’t know.” The excitement to get into an unknown environment is like going on African safari and facing some ferocious lions. Scammers would tear you apart, financially speaking of course.

  • Another Miley Cyrus syndrome which goes like: “I can’t be tamed.” Some folks can never be tamed about job scams emails and other scams no matter how much someone warns them. Humans, by nature, are resistant to warnings. They don’t like people to interfere in their affairs.

What to do about scam emails…

The best thing you can do is to do nothing. Do not answer any email that asks you to send them money.

The tempting part is to ask you to deposit the check of perhaps thousands of dollars, keep a percentage of it in your bank and send the rest to a bank in Philippines or perhaps Nigeria or some other country where you have no access to the bank or another financial entity.

Smell your email so to speak. If it’s a scam, it will stink. You will know if it stinks when you take a deep breadth and think about it, don’t get running to the bank right away and take the greed out of your person – out of your system.

Some folks are in such a hurry that they deposit the check in their bank, get money out of their own bank account that they had saved so diligently and before the scammed check gets cleared, you have already taken the money out and sent it according to the instructions.

After a few days, the bank informs you that the check had bounced and it was a fraudulent check.

If someone calls you or sends you an email requesting sensitive information, do not give it to them, period.

In a Nutshell
Be extra careful when you receive a suspicious email. Most often you can tell from the subject of the email without even opening it. Just delete it.

Listen to Miley Cyrus

She can’t be tamed. The same with some folks no matter how much they are warned, they will never be tamed and brought to their senses.

Job scams and other kinds will flourish as they always have in this digital age of ours.

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