Friday, March 27, 2009
Preying On The Job Seeker 5
Scammers target jobseekers online
By Marva Hinton
March 27, 2009
Orange County’s CONSUMER FRAUD UNIT is warning jobseekers to look out for job placement scams online.
“People are desperate. A lot of people are unemployed right now, and the scam artists know this,” said Carlos Morales, a consumer investigator supervisor with the unit.
Morales tells us complaints have been pouring in about phony Web sites offering to arrange interviews for a fee. He says these sites often ask jobseekers to use a wire transfer to send the money.
“He goes over there. He follows through with the instructions, and the money is gone. It’s that easy,” said Morales.
He says another scam involves sites that guarantee jobs.
“‘Oh yeah, we’re going to promise you to get you a job if you pay us 500 dollars right away.’ Well, nobody can guarantee nothing nowadays.”
But Morales says these scammers work hard to look legitimate making it easier for them to pull in those desperate for a job.
“The problem is that if you grab a legitimate job employment agency versus an illegitimate one, you’re going to see that from the outside they’re both going to look about the same,” said Morales.
He says you can usually tell the difference by the agency’s reaction if you ask questions. A legitimate agency welcomes your questions, while a phony one will deflect inquiries and pressure you to sign up quickly before you have a real chance to look into their services.
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