The 12 Scams of Christmas: #3
Christmas is a time of giving, of spending time with loved ones, and of celebrating the birth of Christ. This Christmas season, make sure you can focus on the true meaning of Christmas by avoiding scams. Follow along with our 12 Scams of Christmas series to learn more about the most common scams encountered around the holidays and make sure to use browser protection to avoid holiday scams occurring online.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: 3 Holiday Job Scams
Holiday Job Scams
‘Tis the season to make some extra cash. It isn’t just retailers and seasonal holiday employees making extra cash, it’s scam artists as well. If you’re among the many seeking part-time holiday work to add some cushion to your bank account, it pays to be aware of these holiday job scams. Online job boards are full of fraudulent job postings offering amazing opportunities in exchange for cash or personal data.
When you post your resume online, your information is visible to legitimate employers, but it’s also available to scammers lurking on the same websites. Using that information, they can contact you posing as an interested employer with a job opportunity. From there, they might request personal information similar to what a valid employer might request or they might request cash for an initial business investment or for administrative fees.
Not all inquiries you receive are suspicious, but it’s important to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys when looking for potential holiday job opportunities. Here are some things you should be on the lookout for.
No legitimate employer will demand money to secure your employment
Any costs associated with hiring a new employee are absorbed by the employer. This includes costs associated with background checks, credit checks, administrative fees, materials, and training. If an employer can’t cover those costs, what are the chances that they’ll be able to pay your wages for performing the job?
Know where you’re applying
Before applying for a job, verify that the company actually exists. The same goes for companies who reach out to you first. You can start by performing a simple Google search for the company. It’ll provide you with the company’s website, their LinkedIn page, and any instances where they might have been in the news. If very little information about the company appears in your search, this is a big red flag. You should be able to easily find their physical address, phone number, and other contact information. A simple website and cell phone number are not enough to verify the legitimacy of a company.
A legitimate business will be able to provide you with a full job description and tell you more about the types of people or organizations they do business with. Be especially alert if you’re provided with job descriptions that are vague, poorly written, or that include spelling and grammatical errors. This includes poor imagery and logos that look like they were hastily slapped together.
Protect Your Information
Never provide an individual or company with your Driver’s license number, social security number, birth date, or banking information for direct deposit until you’ve met a representative of the company in person and have verified their legitimacy. Never provide this information as part of the application process and wait until after a job offer has been made.
Use Browser Protection
Browser protection should always be your first line of defense against scams and other threats to your personal and financial information. Scammers wouldn’t do what they do if it wasn’t profitable and they know how to make their attempts appear believable. Browser protection will block phishing scams and fake websites, and alert you when a company webpage is too new to be trusted, indicating that you should run the other way.
Avoid High Pressure Offers
Legitimate companies want to make the best possible hiring decision for their company. Decisions like these aren’t rushed. If you’re being asked for a business investment and feel pressured to act quickly, this should be a major red flag. Scammers know that the best way to scam someone is to pressure them to act quickly because it compromises their better judgement.