Tis the season for scammers! If you’re among the many looking for part-time holiday work, pay close attention when you’re trying to find that work through classified ads. If the opportunity looks too good to be true, it just might be.
Your temporary job search around the holidays is just one more way scammers are hoping to take advantage of you.
You’re vulnerable if you post a resume online because while your information is visible to legitimate potential employers, it’s also available to scammers, and they can use it to reach out under an assumed identity, saying they saw your resume and would love to offer you a job.
“The key here is that the retailer is not going to contact you directly and offer you a job if you’ve never applied. That’s what folks need to understand. If they have gone and applied to Amazon, well then it makes sense that Amazon reaches out– but if you’ve never applied they are not going to send you a job offer unsolicited,” said Robyn Householder with the Better Business Bureau.
The alleged potential employer may even ask for personal information or money to cover administrative fees.
In order to avoid a holiday job scam, you should apply for jobs in person or go directly to the retailer’s website. Never give personal information over the phone, never give anyone money as a “start-up fee,” possibly for equipment needed for the job. You will not be asked to do that if a business is legitimate.
Of course, not all inquiries you receive from potential employers are suspicious. Just make sure you follow these guidelines to tell the good guys from the bad ones.