Experts brace for increase in job scams as more look for work | The Rebound Tampa Bay

Posted at 8:59 AM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 18:31:42-04

Job scammers target consumers every year, and experts are bracing for it to get even worse as more people are unemployed and looking for work.

Local Realtor Kristin Lingren said she started looking for a second job after the potential home buyers and those looking to list homes took a nosedive in March.

Lingren told Taking Action Reporter Jackie Callaway she stuck to credible job sites but wound up the target of two sophisticated scams.

"I had done a little bit of research and thought it was valid, and they had a website I filled out an application on," said Lingren.

In one case, Lingren even went through phone interviews with three different people before she spotted a big red flag: The company asked for her financial account information before she actually started work.

Lingren told ABC Action News the letdown only added to her financial stress.

"You think something is happening, and you get the rug pulled out from under you," said Lingren.

The Better Business Bureau says employment scams ranked as the number one reported rip off last year, and it's only expected to get worse this year.

FlexJobs CEO Sara Sutton warns that "as scammers become more sophisticated and see an opportunity, it is critical for job seekers to educate themselves on how to stay safe."

Some warning signs of a job posting scam could include:

  • A lot of money for minimal work
  • A personal email address used by the person doing the hiring
  • A request for any money to cover training or expenses

Job seekers should also try to find out if the hiring manager they are in contact with actually exists through online and social media searches.

Those who believe they received a fake job offer can report it: