SAFETY: BBB Encourages Precautions in Searching for Jobs

BBB | March 31, 2020

With the announcement of President Trump’s extension of social distancing orders to April 30, 2020, which includes mandated closures of various businesses, many are left in uncertain times. The ripple effect of these orders has led to people being laid off, normal working hours being cut and some not sure if they will remain employed.

Due to the high loss of jobs since the crisis began, many people are searching for work, which makes employment scams particularly onerous. Scammers take any available opportunity to target those who have found themselves in desperate times. Better Business Bureau tends to see an uptick in complaints received and scams reported during situations like these. In the last 30 days, BBB Scam Tracker has received over 100 reports regarding COVID-19 related scams with almost $4,000 in reported losses.

During these tough times, the search for a quick job opportunity to make ends meet can be necessary, and BBB urges citizens to be cautious and calm while doing so.

Exercise caution and learn how to spot an employment scam:

Be wary of any job that asks for money. Scammers will often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit or paying for training as a way to gain personal information.

Check out a company’s website. Con artist’s frequently post jobs using the name of real companies, such as Amazon, to lend legitimacy to their cons. Visiting a business’ website or giving them a call is easy and a great way to verify if they are real.

Some positions are more likely to be scams. As we deal with the COVID-19 outbreak be wary of work-from-home job offers or any offer with a generic title, e.g., caregiver, administrative assistant or customer service representative. Jobs that don’t require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these legitimate titles in their phony ads.

Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. A person may be an excellent candidate for a particular job but be careful of any offer made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring.

Government agencies post all jobs publicly and freely. The federal government and the United States Postal Service never charge for information about jobs or applications. Do not accept an offer for a “special access” or guaranteed position for a fee. A legitimate company will not require payment for the promise of a job.

Get everything in writing. A legitimate recruiter will provide a complete contract of the services they offer, total cost, an explanation of who pays (employer or employee) and what happens if they are unsuccessful.

Beware of job offers that sound too good to be true. Employment scams were the No. 1 riskiest two years in a row, according to the 2019 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. As traditional jobs are cut and workers begin to seek new roles or remote opportunities to fill the void, they must be wary of job offers that sound too good to be true.

Scammers prey on jobseekers, and the potential panic of citizens creates the perfect storm for them to take advantage of the situation. Information in the public or social media can become an opportunity for con-artists to find vulnerable people, so BBB urges exercising caution. For more resources and information regarding COVID-19 and related scams, click here.

For more information regarding how BBB is supporting consumers and businesses throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, visit and

About Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest. 

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been helping people find businesses and charities they can trust. In 2019, people turned to BBB more than 358 million times by checking more than 232 million business profiles – all available to the public for free at Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB Serving Pacific Southwest covers Greater Arizona and Southern California with key campuses in Phoenix, San Diego, Newport Beach, Prescott, Yuma and Lake Havasu City. BBB Serving Pacific Southwest is supported by over 19,000 BBB Accredited Businesses, making it one of the largest BBB nationwide. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to high standards of ethical business practices in the marketplace. BBB provides objective expertise and educational programs on topics affecting marketplace trust.

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