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Seasonal Hiring: Avoid the Scam

If you’re like me, the holiday shopping season gives me a pinch of anxiety. Maybe it’s the rush of black Friday, the panic of procrastination, or the stress of finding a parking spot at the mall- it’s a lot to prepare for.

But one thing that can help alleviate the holiday hassle is having extra spending cash. That may mean looking for a seasonal job to bring in additional income. And you’re in luck because long before the holidays pop up in our minds, retailers were thinking about, prepping for and stocking up for the busiest shopping time of the year. And that means seasonal hiring is happening now across the Treasure Valley.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that retailers will hire between 530,000 and 590,000 temporary workers over the 2019 winter holiday season.

But unfortunately, there’s a few grinches out there looking to ruin the holiday spirit with scammers hoping to take advantage of those looking for temporary work. In 2018, over 4,600 employment scams were reported to BBB Scam Tracker. According to the BBB Risk Index Report, employment scams were ranked the number one riskiest scam for consumers.

If you are looking for employment BBB warns to beware of scam job postings, fake recruiter emails, and work-at-home schemes. These cons often use real company names and can be very convincing, but you are really giving personal information or money to scammers – maybe both!

How to spot this scam:

Some positions are more likely to be scams. Always be wary of work-from-home or secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title such as caregiver, administrative assistant, or customer service rep. Positions that don’t require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads. If the job posting is for a well-known brand, check the real company’s job page to see if the position is posted there. Look online; if the job comes up in other cities with the exact same post, it’s likely a scam.

Unusual hiring procedures should raise your suspicion. Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring. Don’t fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask for money to be wired elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers. And be cautious sharing personal information or any kind of pre-payment. Be careful if a company promises you great opportunities or big income but only if you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories.

If you’ve been targeted by one of these scams, report it to BBB Scam Tracker at bbb.org/scamtracker. This free resource provides a place to research and submit scam-related information, so BBB can investigate further and educate others.

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Written by Rebecca Barr

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