BBB: Staying safe with summer jobs!

School may be out for the summer, but the hunt for a summer job may still be in full force. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20 million people between the ages of 16 and 24 worked summer jobs in 2018. Whether a student is working to get gas money to drive around with friends for the first time or saving for the upcoming college semester, they only have a few months to make that extra cash. But, there is a concern. Scammers may be on the prowl to take advantage of these young job seekers through employment scams.
Employment scams were ranked the top riskiest scam in the 2018 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report. So far in 2019, 130 employment scams have already been reported across Texas to Scam Tracker, with losses of more than $5,000. So, how do these scams work? When searching online for job openings, a ‘help wanted’ ad will appear, or you may receive an email from a “recruiter” asking you to apply for a position. After quickly being hired, you may be told to purchase certain supplies or software in order to perform the job, but the money actually goes to the scammer instead.
Fortunately, Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas is here with tips on avoiding these scams:
>> Some jobs are more likely to be scams. For example, secret shopper or work-from-home positions are generally seen more in employment scams. These kinds of jobs claiming “high pay and flexible schedules” are especially appealing to students searching for summer jobs who have limited time to make money and are also trying to balance work and social life. Always double-check job postings by looking for the opening on the company’s website. Or if a generic-looking job posting pops up in multiple cities, it is likely a scam.
>> Be wary of unusual procedures. One of the biggest signs of an employment scam is an on-the-spot offer, especially without an interview. This should be a red flag, particularly to younger applicants who might have less experience. Other times, employment scammers will send a check to set up direct deposit, then claim the check has an overage and ask you to wire back the difference. By the time your bank discovers the check is fake, the scammer is gone with your money. No legitimate job will overpay an employee then ask them to wire the money elsewhere.
>> Get contracts in writing. Some scammers pose as recruiters, but legitimate recruiters will provide you with complete, written contracts including details such as cost of their services and what happens if you do not find a job. Recruiters will also usually only help place employees in full-time positions, not seasonal jobs.
>> Watch out for big promises. Companies that promise you’ll find a job or receive big payment as long as you pay for certain coaching, training, certificates, etc., are likely scamming you. Often times, these kinds of scams involve getting you to pay for even more training or coaching once the first round is done.
To learn more about employment scams, visit