IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Scammers are making a bigger financial crisis among the unemployed even worse, according to the Better Business Bureau.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people found themselves back on the job market applying for what seemed to be real job postings online.
Unfortunately, that's not always the case. The BBB is reminding people about employment scams. A lot of times these scammers want your personal information, or in some cases, your money.
The BBB reports the most popular tactic used by scammers is the fake check scam, where the target is asked to deposit a check and transfer funds to another account when the original check is bad.
BBB's Jeremy Johnson tells us about some steps you can take to avoid falling for a scam, “If you do see any type of unemployment Ad, if you can go to exactly that company's website that can help you make sure it is legitimate. Then also, don't hesitate to ask those questions just because you're in need of a job doesn't mean you're not entitled to ask appropriate questions and if your guts telling you, something's a little off. Oftentimes you do need to trust your gut."
The BBB found 65% of scam job offers were related to becoming a warehouse worker, or a similar title that involved reshipment of packages. The BBB reports that 32% of people who were targets to a scam said they found the job listing on Indeed.
“The thing that we do see is a lot of generic posts made, which let people in, and then once the conversation begins starting, what will happen is either an overpayment will happen. They'll say, oh, there's a signing bonus and they'll give that person so much money and then they'll say oh we actually gave you a couple hundred dollars extra could you mail that back to us, and people excited about a new job tend to do that. Then that payment is cancelled so then they're out the extra money. That's where we see a lot of the loss happen," Johnson said.
Johnson says in Idaho, we’ve seen more than 33 employment scam reports. She says they resulted in a total of about half of a million dollars loss for those people.
With the current pandemic and also the beginning of summer, there is more screen time and people online, which is something the BBB says widens the target pool for scammers.
"The best thing to do is just to monitor that and make sure you're having discussions, whether it's with your children or even if you're an adult and you're starting to game, or do different things like that, it's really important to be educated of what's appropriate where what gaming clouds are appropriate to sign up for and just where you can make sure you're protecting your personal information, and you know your children's information," Johnson said.