Avoiding job and mortgage scams

By Aaron Gilchrist - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - In this 12 On Your Side Alert, a checklist to help you avoid two of the biggest scams hitting America right now.

From the laid-off worker, to the college graduate, to the high school student off for the summer, the job market is being flooded right now and job scammers are looking for candidates.

If you're thinking of turning to the internet, be wary of online job scams.

The exact wording can vary, but all of the offers have common themes:

They offer "easy money" for little work.  You can work from home, rather than an office.

It is difficult to meet your "employer" in-person, often because they travel frequently or are based overseas.  And, they say you need to respond very quickly.

The most important thing in all of these scams is that you'll eventually be asked to wire money to somebody like an assistant or a check processor.

Always make sure you can verify a job offer with a live person-- or at least by phone.

The other big scam right now involves mortgages.

Even though con men are being prosecuted and the industry in starting to turn around, mortgages scams are still running rampant.

So, here are the top five signs of a mortgage scam, according to the Federal Trade Commission:

1.  Somebody promises they can stop a foreclosure or modify your loan.
     2.  Someone guarantees your home will be saved, saying have something like a 97-percent success rate.
     3.  Someone requires fees in advance.   That's not legal.
     4.  A scammer might advise you to stop paying your mortgage company. 
     5.  An offer that looks, sounds, and seems official... But isn't.   A lot look-alike companies are imitating legitimate lenders and government agencies.

Those are all ways con men lure you in.   Then, they have number of stealth tactics to actually get your money.

You can find more about that by going to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre42.shtm.

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