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Scammers Prey on Connecticut Job Seekers

Consumer advocates warn of a new scam targeting job-seekers of all ages with phone posts that aim to get personal information and money. Credit: Mike Clifford.
Consumer advocates warn of a new scam targeting job-seekers of all ages with phone posts that aim to get personal information and money. Credit: Mike Clifford.
July 14, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. – Local consumer advocates warn job-seekers to beware of the latest scam preying on Tri-State residents of all ages.

Howard Schwartz with the Connecticut Better Business Bureau (BBB) says con artists have been busy all over New England posting phony job postings, often on legitimate job websites. He says scammers are after two things: personal information and upfront money.

"They may tell you they need you to pay upfront to qualify for the job, for things like a background check or a drug test or training material," he says.

Schwartz says no legitimate company would ask a job applicant to pay for those costs, and certainly not before making a firm offer. If you believe you have been a victim of this scam, Schwartz suggests you contact your local bank, the state Attorney General's office and the BBB.

According to Schwartz, the timing of this scam is particularly cruel because it is hitting students looking for their first full-time job – and that's just the start of it.

"This is just wrong. We've got our children who are looking for their first summer job, and there are desperate people who haven't had a job in years and they really need the income," he says. "Not only do they not get a job, but they're cheated out of their money, and they could become the victims of identity fraud."

Schwartz says con artists use information from resumes posted online to scam job-seekers out of money and personal information over the phone.

"They may actually call you and say we found your resume online, and we think you'd be perfect for this job," he says. "One of the hallmarks of these people is they don't usually want to meet you for a face-to-face offer."

The Better Business Bureau advises job-seekers to never give personal information to a prospective employer until a written offer is in hand, until there has been time to check on the employer and a face-to-face meeting with the employer has occurred.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT