Insurance and Finance

The High Cost of Job Scams

By Paula Felps 3.15.13

Today’s tech-savvy world has opened up possibilities for job seekers, but it also has created opportunities for scammers to take advantage of those who are looking for new ways to make money.

A part-time or work-at-home job is often appealing to older adults, and for many it offers the perfect transition from full-time work into retirement. Unfortunately, scammers have found new avenues in which to target job seekers, so make sure you’re protected as you start your search.

Be wary of “work from home” job opportunities. Check out the company thoroughly before filling out an application. According to The Foundation for Payments Fraud Abatement & Activism (, just filling out the application can be a risk, because scammers often ask for personal information like your Social Security number or driver’s license number – which is not necessary for an application.

Don’t allow a new employer – particularly one you have not met in person – to deposit money directly into your personal bank account. There are many types of payment-forwarding scams, and the way the “employer” presents the arrangement is often very clever to avoid raising suspicion. Request a check instead.

On a job interview, never provide personal information like bank account numbers, your Social Security number, or allow them to scan your identification. Scammers may say they need it to verify your identity – but this is not a legitimate request.

In a new twist, some scammers are using the names of large companies to lure at-home employees who feel confident that they are working with a reputable company they’ve heard of before. So compare the email address of your potential employer to what appears on their corporate website, and don’t hesitate to call and verify that you’re dealing with the actual company and not a fly-by-night scammer.