Job hunters beware: Scammers prey on online job seekers

Better Business Bureau and BarryStaff are warning job searchers of scammers online posing as companies hiring.

More job-related scams are being reported to BBB’s Scam Tracker, according to the bureau and BarryStaff. Most victims tend to be college age and seeking employment but all age groups have been targeted recently.

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The goal of the job search scams is to steal identity or money, according to the BBB. Typically, such scams start when victims are contacted by what appears to be firms telling them they have been hired.

The scammer sends the victim a check and is instructed to deposit the funds and send a portion back to the scammer. The check is not real and once a bank realizes it, the victim is responsible for paying back the funds sent to the scammer, according to the BBB.

One consumer recently posted to BBB’s Scam Tracker that she had found a job posting on Indeed for a job as a mystery shopper for Kroger.

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After responding to the posting, she received a check for $2,480 and was instructed to deposit the money into her account. Then, she was told to keep $250 for her salary, but use the rest to shop at Walmart.

“Job seekers need to know employment agencies like ours will never ask them for anything until we meet with them,” said Doug Barry of BarryStaff employment agency in Dayton. “We’ll never send a check before meeting with a job seeker. We’ll never ask anyone to do any banking either.”

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