Remote job scams on the rise

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Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 12:13 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As more people search for remote jobs, scammers are looking to cash in.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) said they received reports of job scam losses of nearly $840,000, up to 250 percent compared to last year.

Several reports to BBB describe how scammers found resumes on job listing sites like Indeed and tailored their scams to an individual’s background. Scammers sometimes impersonate real companies.

A representative from Indeed told BBB it “removes tens of millions of job listings each month that do not meet our quality guidelines.”

Craigslist, Meta, LinkedIn, and Indeed warn consumers extensively about scams and urge them to report cases to the websites and the authorities.

BBB said in many cases reported, scammers set up a job interview over email, phone or voice chat. The scammers would ask serious questions and then ask for social security numbers, bank account numbers, or other personal information for a background check or set up a security deposit.

Others may run a slower scam, offering a job later on. That offer might come with an acceptance letter and an attractive salary, all on official-looking letterhead.

In Western Michigan, BBB said the most common employment scam is the “reshipping scam.” Scammers would recruit targets to be the address to which they send stolen goods or money.

The target would believe they are part of a logistics team for an international shipping business and forward the packages to the scammer.

BBB said legitimate businesses run reshipping in-house and never send checks to employees through the mail as a part of accounting practices.

According to BBB, a fake logistics company contacted a Newaygo County woman, offering her a job as a package inspector.

She started the work but, after a month, never saw a paycheck. She tried calling and emailing, but the company wouldn’t respond. Then, she was completely blocked out of the online work site she had been using. She claims she lost over $3,600 in wages.

BBB gave safety tips for job seekers:

  • Research companies offering jobs at
  • Check the email address to ensure it is connected to the company and not a personal “Gmail” or “Yahoo” address.
  • Be cautious about providing personal information to unverified recruiters and online applications.
  • Be skeptical of jobs requiring you to pay money for supplies or other business functions. Never cash a check for more than you are owed.
  • Be wary of offers for jobs you didn’t apply for; interviews are strictly done over email and remote jobs where the pay seems too good to be true.
  • Be skeptical of Mystery shopping, re-shipping, check-cashing and car wrap job offers.

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