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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money

Red Flags for Job Scams

Visiting with family at Thanksgiving makes this a special holiday. And, if your family is like mine, you may have been reminded just how many people are currently looking for work. Looking for a job is a stressful, difficult process. And then, on top of this, people need to be wary about job scams.

Job scams make me angry! Being unemployed is difficult enough without having to worry about being scammed. However, if you're unemployed then you're especially vulnerable to cons. While at times it can be difficult to detect a scam, the Better Business Bureau has identified some red flags worth knowing about. I think now is a timely time to review these for yourself and perhaps to forward to family members.

Red Flag: The employer offers the opportunity to become rich without leaving home.

Obviously there are many legitimate businesses that allow you to work from home. However, this is a common arena for scams and it's a good idea to be wary when considering a work-at-home offer.

Red Flag: The employer asks for money upfront.

You should not have to buy something in order to get a job.

Red Flag: The salary and benefits offered seem too-good-to-be-true.

On this blog we've warned you that investment offers that seem too-good-to-be true should be avoided. This holds true for job offers too. If the salary seems too high, with little or no experience, ask yourself, "is this too good to be true?"

Red Flag: The employer is quick to ask for personal information such as Social Security or bank account numbers.

Don't give out your Social Security or bank account number over the phone or email until you have confirmed the job is legitimate.

Red Flag: The job requires you to wire money through Western Union or MoneyGram or receive and forward suspicious goods.

This scam exists in a variety of formats but the basics are the same. If you're asked to cash a check by a company and then to wire the money on to someone else, don't do it. Odds are you will lose money.

As our holiday weekend winds down, and the job search for many continues this next week, remember to take time to evaluate job offers carefully and avoid those that "sound too good to be true."

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