BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Better Business Bureau is warning high school and college students of common job scams.
RELEASE- "Some students seeking summer jobs may have little to no previous work experience. They could be tempted to apply for jobs that seem great from the ad but lead them down the wrong path," said Warren Clark, Better Business Bureau President. Employment ads are posted everyday in a variety of sources with newspapers and the Internet being preferred by potential employees - and scammers too.
BBB Offers 10 tip-offs to avoid "employment opportunity" scams:
1. Big bucks for simple tasks. Watch out if they promise to pay you a lot of money for jobs that don't seem to require much effort or skill. If it sounds too good to be true, it might be a scam.
2. Job offers out of nowhere from strangers. If you're offered a job without asking for a job application, a personal meeting, or doing an interview, it's probably a scam. Don't hand over your personal information, especially your Social Security Number or credit card information to someone you don't know and trust. This could lead to identity theft.
3. High pressure to do it now or sell Door-to-Door. Some businesses rely on your good faith and sell you a bill of goods instead. Don't be in a hurry to accept a job asking you to go door-to-door with products, magazines or other items. If you're offered an unsolicited job offer, or to make a business investment, particularly if the other party is asking you to spend your money on the deal - stop. Take your time and check it out. If somebody tries to convince you that this is a "limited time" offer and you have to act now, just tell them to forget it. High pressure is a common sign that something's wrong and door-to-door sales can be very misleading - for you and the potential buyer.
4. Requests for up-front payments. If someone wants you to make an advance payment to partake in a new business opportunity - especially if it's a big investment, or you don't have much information about the deal - this is a red flag. "Advance fee scams" are very common and they come in many varieties.
5. They ask you to wire money. If you wire a payment to somebody, it's gone forever. While wiring money is a convenient and perfectly legitimate service, if you don't know and trust who's on the other end you're asking for trouble. Scam artists often ask you to wire payments for training materials or other fictitious ‘job' related fees because they know you won't be able to get your money back.
6. Refusal to give you full details in writing. Ask for complete information in writing. Look carefully at any documentation they might provide to make sure it answer all your questions. If they won't give details, or don't respond to questions, don't do business with them.
7. References are missing or a bit suspicious. A real business should be able to give you professional references, ask for references and check them yourself. Even if the references seem good, don't make your decision based on references alone. Do a careful background check; free Business Reviews are available at bbb.org
8. Contact information is missing or doesn't make sense. Be very cautious if a company is trying to get you to accept a job, but seems to lack any established physical location with a real street address. A cell phone number and website address are not enough contact information. If there is an address, it's worth taking a moment to check it out on the Internet.
9. They want you to buy expensive items. Be cautious if they expect you to make a major purchase of equipment, software, inventory, or information in order to get started in business. It seems like it might be a real business opportunity – but it's not; the buyer makes the purchase and never receives the things needed to set up the business.
10. It has a bad rating with the BBB! Victims do complain to the BBB about work at home scams. It only takes minutes to check a company's record with us at bbb.org
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