Community Ombudsman: Crooks trying to cash in on misfortuneWritten by Brandi Barhite | Associate Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
This question started out with exciting news. A job seeker received an email stating he was a candidate for a warehouse job. He had applied for the job via the Internet, so it seemed legitimate. He was asked to answer a few questions before coming in for an interview. Then the surprise came. The alleged company wanted his credit score and if he didn’t know it he needed to follow a link and pay for one to be done. Thankfully, the man knew his score so he didn’t need to purchase anything, but that got him thinking, “Was this a scam?”
Northwest Ohio Better Business Bureau (BBB) Director Dick Eppstein said this was definitely a scam. Credit scores and bank account information is not something that would be asked in an initial application or via email. Any employer who is asking for personal information is likely planning to use it or sell it.
Eppstein said be cautious if a job or company isn’t local. If you read something like, “We are a company in Toronto and we want to hire an agent in Toledo,’ beware.”
Recently, BBB encountered a scam involving Hollywood Casino Toledo. A crook advertised on Craigslist that the casino was hiring. Guess what? It wasn’t the casino. The real casino said, “We aren’t hiring yet, and when we do hire, it will be on our site, not someone else’s site,” Eppstein said.
Anything that sounds like a dream job should also be viewed with caution. You should be skeptical of a job that says you can work from home and make lots of money. Anything that does not require a lot of experience but pays well is probably a scam, too.
The saddest part is people so badly want jobs that they will believe anything, even when the BBB tells them it is too good to be true, Eppstein said. Recently a woman was convinced she was being hired for a job in Indianapolis and was about to provide personal information. The BBB checked the phone number of the “employer.”
He was from Jamaica.
Eppstein said job seekers should remember this: “If they are going to hire you, they pay you.”
To ask a question, send a letter to Community Ombudsman, c/o Brandi Barhite, at 605 Monroe St., Toledo, OH 43605, email email@example.com or contact her through www.facebook.com/toledofreepress and www.twitter.com/toledofreepress.