Commonly we hear of bankruptcy coming to the aid of those drowning in credit card debt, underneath tons of medical bills, or otherwise underwater in their mortgages and facing foreclosure. But in these tough economic times, a sudden and unexpected loss of work can be just as damning to already beleaguered family budgets, sending many households searching for immediate ways to increase money coming in and reducing debts going out.
While bankruptcy is a great option for the latter goal, securing a new job and more income has become more difficult to come by. And now those desperate to find work are facing even more pecuniary pitfalls: an onslaught of job scams.
According to a recent AOL jobs article, “jobs that promise ‘easy money,’ ‘flexible work from home hours,’ or advertise ‘no experience necessary’ are just some of the ways con artists posing as fake employers get you on the hook to either steal your identity or make a quick buck. A recent AOL jobs survey found that one in 33 people has personally been a victim of a job scam, such as a fake opportunity for employment where the job seeker is asked to pay a fee in advance, and one in nine people report knowing someone who has been scammed.”
It appears that younger job seekers are now particularly vulnerable to scammers. Recent college grads facing a perilous job market and mounting student loan debts are a group quick to fall for evolved pyramid schemes offering extra cash for “working from home” to do online ad work in return for submitting amounts like “$19.95” and recruiting others to send in their own “entry fees.”
Other scams are subtler but no less treacherous. Many of these same unwary applicants are answering ads for home care taking positions that require money orders for purported “background checks.” These job seekers only become the wiser when actually visiting the addresses of “clients” that don’t exist.
So how can you be sure that a job posting is actually legitimate? According to expert Bethany Mooradian, author of I Got Scammed So You Don't Have To!, "The best advice I could give would be to educate yourself on how to research companies and to take any job posting or e-mail with a grain of salt. Assume it's a scam until you prove otherwise." In short:
Be cautious with career websites.
The Internet has made scams more sophisticated, giving scammers a wide berth to deceive without being detected. As a result, it helps to do your homework. According to AOL, “It pays to do your research and make sure that the website you are using is credible. Just remember that no one can guarantee what happens to your resume after it has been accessed or downloaded by a potential employer or recruiter.”
Easily identify the “fake jobs.”
The best rule of thumb when trying to avoid job scams, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In this case, it includes jobs without a physical address or contact; offering considerable pay (normally in cash) without much work; and requiring you to forward money or provide personal information upfront.
Avoid getting too personal in online posts.
As in the case of identity theft, the more information you post online, the more likely you’ll fall victim to online job scams. Use only reputable job search sites like LinkedIn or Idealist.org, and, even then, be wary of sharing too much of yourself as to be vulnerable to targeted appeals from unscrupulous scammers.
Obviously people in desperate situations can fall for even the most obvious employment ploys. But whether you’ve fallen victim to downsizing or scams offering “upsizing,” understand that a qualified bankruptcy attorney can be a safe and authentic way for unemployed or financially insecure Americans to conquer their creditors and face their financial fears. In fact, the bankruptcy experts at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.