Officials warn summer job seekers to be on the lookout for scams

MILWAUKEE –The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and the Better Business Bureau is warning teens to be on the lookout for scams while looking for a summer job. 

The Department Of Workforce Development warns students to be on the lookout for questionable job postings -- particularly those featuring too-good-to-be-true employment offers or those asking for upfront payment for training or materials.

The Better Business Bureau is also warning summer job seekers to lookout for thieves hoping to steal their personal information while applying for these jobs. Many scammers may be relying on teens to give up information such as social security numbers or driver's license numbers.

A common employment scam to watch out for begins with an email request for a "Google Hangout" interview for a work-at-home position, the Department Of Workforce Development says. The scammer uses a legitimate company name and claims to have found the job seeker's resume on an online employment site. After a job offer is made during the “interview,” the job seeker is sent a check or money order for "office supplies and equipment," is instructed to deposit it into their personal account, and is told to buy expensive equipment from a particular vendor.  Unfortunately, the check or money order are fake and the job seeker will be on the hook for the full amount of money withdrawn when the bank discovers the fraud.

The Wisconsin of Department of Workforce Development recommends job seekers to follow these tips: 

  • It is not common or normal practice for an employer to ask for your personal information, such as your Social Security number and bank account number (or similar personal financial information) on an initial application. Be wary and use good judgment if unusual information is requested.
  • Be suspicious of any job offer that requires an upfront fee. Do not provide credit card or bank account numbers and be careful of requests for payment by wire transfer.
  • Any “job” that requires you to cash a check and send any amount of it to another party is a scam.  
  • Be cautious when dealing with any contacts outside of the United States. It is difficult to pursue any enforcement action against a person located outside of this country.
  • Research an organization before making any commitments. Ask for information about the company, including its street address and the name of its owner or chief operating officer. You may wish to call DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline (800-422-7128) to check on complaints against the business.
  • Get the job offer in writing, including any earnings you are expected to make.
  • If the interview request or job offer is for a job you did not apply for, it is most likely a scam.
  • Scammers often send "spoofed" emails with forged email headers that make the messages appear to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. If the web address (URL) referenced in the sender's email address does not match the true URL for the business in question, the email may be a scam. The official email address for the Job Center of Wisconsin is JobCenterofWisconsin@dwd.wisconsin.gov.

For more information, click here.
 

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