(Gray News) – The Better Business Bureau says scam artists love to bring in a jobs scam whenever the economy threatens to take a dive.
The BBB Scam Tracker has received several reports of a new employment scam involving downloading a messaging app.
BBB officials say the scam begins when people receive a message from someone interested in hiring them. This can come via email, SMS or even a social media platform.
At first glance, this “recruiter” seems professional. They claim to have seen your CV on a job search site and want to interview you for a position. But first, you need to download a messaging app, such as Telegram.
Once the app is downloaded, the “recruiter” will start messaging you and ask you to answer a few interview questions. After giving you enthusiastic feedback, they will offer you a position with their company.
This interaction is followed by an official-looking contract to complete and sign, according to the BBB.
After you sign up, the scammer will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and banking information, claiming to add you to direct deposit payroll and other company systems.
However, the BBB warns that if you provide this sensitive information, you could easily become a victim of identity theft.
And some versions of this scam don’t stop there.
As a new employee, you are directed to a “training manager” who will help you set up your home office. This person sends you a check to buy a laptop and other supplies.
After depositing the check, your contact will say that you have been overpaid and need to return some of what you deposited. However, the check is fake and any funds you “return” to your new employer will be long gone.
The BBB said a victim of such a scam lost $3,000.
BBB officials advise consumers to research job postings first, be wary of jobs that involve receiving and returning money, be careful with your personal information, and be careful of easy hires .
More information on how to avoid employment scams is also available here.
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