Bogus Summer Job OffersIt's summer and bogus jobs are on the rise again, just like during any other time of the year. Although this is largely due to the economic setback people are experiencing, it can't be denied that this is also a result of the government claiming numerous jobs to be available when they really aren't. This is difficult especially on students who take advantage of summer breaks to earn money for college or high school expenses.
Recently, a reader shared this experience about falling for a fake job advertisement and having to suffer dire consequences.
"I have been applying for jobs everywhere and was thrilled when I did not only get an interview, but was also hired. At the time, I was told I would need to purchase some equipment required of the position and was given a list. The company's representative informed me that a check would be issued for this purpose, which sounded okay to me. After the check arrived, I received an email from the company stating that the amount on the check was in excess. However, to save time, the company wanted me to deposit the check into my account anyway and just refund them the difference by wiring the money back to them right away, which I followed without question. Well, it took a few days for the check to clear but then when the time came, it bounced back from the bank. I discovered the job offer was bogus as well as the company. I was already out of the amount I wired but I had to shoulder the bank charges for the fraud check, too. Needless to say, when I tried to reach the company again, it had vanished without a trace."
Another common bogus summer job offer is the door-to-door selling of magazine subscriptions, art works, or other similar items. Below is a report on this topic from one of our readers:
"In order to earn money for school, I joined a company where I went door to door selling products and subscriptions. I was to receive a small commission on every sale I make, given to me after the company got the payment and processed the sale. However, it turned out that I was actually selling non-existent products and subscriptions. The bad part was, I sold to neighbors and friends. The worst part was, since that was an illegal activity, I could be held personally and financially responsible for everything I sold. So I fully cooperated with the police. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the guy who hired me in the first place. I guess he moved onto other suckers."
In addition to that, there is also this scam called Re-shipping that has increased in popularity this summer. It can easily get an innocent employee into trouble. Well, how the scam works is simple. For a certain amount of money, an individual receives a package, re-packages it, and forwards it to a foreign address. This is not related to drug sales, though. It could be toys, clothes, household items, or just anything. However, there is no way of knowing if the item being shipped is stolen or something illegal. The bad thing about this is that the re-shipper is just as guilty as the other parties involved and can be held accountable in a court of law.
This is why everybody is encouraged to be careful and cautious when applying for short-term jobs during summer. Be aware that summer job scams usually have telltale signs and it's important to look for these clues:
o Easy money. The pay appears to be too good to be real.
o No qualifications or references required.
o Vague job description. In other words, the company will not provide details about the specific position.
o Cell phone or email contacts only. You are not provided with a physical address or any other way to contact the employer.
o Personal information needs to be kept personal. If a potential employer asks for too much information when you are first contacted, be wary.
o English, grammar, or spelling errors in job description.
o Offer appears out of the blue without you job hunting.
o Money must be paid up-front for supplies or any other reason. Legitimate employers pay you, you don't pay them.