Contact 2: BBB warns of rise in job scams, estimated 14 million victims reported last year

Contact 2

ST. LOUIS – “We are deeply afraid there’s going to see a real uptick in these things in the very near future.” Better Business Bureau International Investigations Specialist Steve Baker said.

Baker is talking about job scams. With unemployment benefits for millions of Americans expiring this week, it’s important for job seekers to be on guard for scammers.

According to this new BBB study on job scams, 65 percent of scam job offers involved reshipping. Here’s how it works: Scammers use stolen credit card numbers to buy laptops and other valuable items.

Then they “hire” victims from job boards or social media promising thousands of dollars to receive and re-ship packages.

“You basically don’t know it, but you’re helping out with a fraud, ripping people off and you’re at risk of being criminally investigated and not being paid for it,” Baker said.

The BBB warns work-from-home jobs that involve receiving and reshipping packages are likely scams. It says to beware of jobs that involve receiving and forwarding money.

“The other big one we’re seeing of course is scams that employ fake checks,” Baker said.

The BBB says 36 percent of job scam complaints involved a fake check. These scams are most prevalent with a phony secret shopper, car wrap, nanny, and small business jobs.

“You send three or four thousand dollars off to what you think is a third-party equipment provider, but it really goes to the scammers. And then the check bounces! It’s counterfeit and the bank comes after you for the money back,” Baker said.

In 2020, the BBB estimated job scams had 14 million victims with $2 billion in losses. A total of 67 percent of victims were female between 25-34 years old, with median losses of $1,000.

“We found about 25 percent of people put their Social Security Numbers on their resumes they post online,” Baker said.

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