On Your Side Alert: Job Scams

A viewer calls 12 after she's nearly duped by several crooks -- all claiming to be with employment websites.  She's still looking for work but worries others may fall for the deceptions.

Make a stop on any of the major job search websites and you'll see dozens of opportunities for employment.  April Putney discovered not all of them are legit. "You think you have employment and you find out it was all a scam," she says.

Most recently, someone sent her a text and claimed they saw her resume on the Virginia Employment Commission website. They told her there was an opening for a Work-at-Home Administrative Assistant. To get the ball rolling, she needed to get a Yahoo Messenger Account. The company then sent her a check to buy any needed equipment.  Red flags went up when the check, the UPS package and the job were all in different states.  Also, that supposed recruiter, only wanted to talk at night. "Why were you wanting to talk to me at 10:25pm? Why couldn't we chat during the day?," April says.

The Virginia Employment Commission confirms this is a scam. The agency says while it does send out text messages, a person must request the service. Also, the text would not come from an individual or a recruiter. VEC also says it investigates every company before giving it access to resumes. If you are every in doubt, you should contact VEC directly.

It's not the first time April has been targeted. She showed us the emails, text messages and even Yahoo Messenger conversations where crooks tried to fool her; some even asking for her Social Security number.  "If I got caught up in this scam, I am sure somebody else has and it will take you back because you are looking for a job," Putney says.

Each job site she was registered with contacted Putney and confirmed she was involved in a scam. Each are also aware that crooks target their sites and they offer helpful tips and ways avoid common schemes. "It is a letdown but then it is scary because you have people that are truly looking for jobs and they are thinking I got this check so I am going to cash it and get what I need because I  will be working. But the next thing you know,  you are going through all of these legal actions," she explains.

Remember, no job is going to send you a check before you even start work. Also, if a job starts asking for personal information like a Social Security number before you're hired, steer, clear. Before you give up any information, do your research. A good place to start is the Better Business Bureau.

Helpful links:

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