Alan Garfield-Turner thought he had a head start on a good job. All he had to do was find people who needed to borrow money and he would get paid to build those relationships.
Payroll? He was supposed to get $ 250 for finding five people who needed personal or business loans of $ 10,000 or more. He found the job on Craigslist.
He spent two days researching Craigslist for people who needed to borrow money. But somehow the owner of the farm couldn’t find the money to pay for it.
“I found five people for him who needed a loan – and he didn’t pay me,” said Garfield-Turner, 38, who lives in West Bloomfield.
“He told me the check was coming in the mail – and it never arrived.”
Then Garfield-Turner was told he would get the money through PayPal. But somehow the company claimed to have “technical difficulties” with PayPal. He still hasn’t been paid anything for a job he did in March.
Garfield-Turner, who was not working at the time, now has a job that pays Amazon $ 15 an hour as a Whole Foods Shopper in West Bloomfield. He had been pretty upset for a while with this bizarre loan job and lack of pay, but he’s happy to be working now.
Job seekers, beware. Complaints have increased during the pandemic over bogus job postings, missing paychecks and scams that involve paying up front for equipment and supplies that are supposed to be needed to do this new job. .
About 32% of those who complained to the Better Business Bureau said they got the job done but never got paid.
The BBB continues to warn those looking for work to check job postings to avoid ending up in illegal jobs where you could end up reshipping stolen goods, becoming a victim of identity theft, and losing. a lot of money out of your pocket because of fraudulent fake checks.
The BBB estimates that 14 million people are exposed to job scams each year, with $ 2 billion in direct losses per year. The overall median loss was $ 1,000.
As more and more people wanted to work from home, the door opened to more job scams, according to a BBB report titled “Job Scams.”
The report highlighted how crooks target those who want to work:
Require money on gift cards
A South Dakota woman who ended up putting $ 500 on two gift cards – and losing that money – to cover a down payment for a phone that needed to be paid back for her work in a so-called foreclosure job data that was paying $ 20 an hour.
Impersonate real HR people
A woman from Illinois noted that the crooks were actually using the real name of a human resources manager at a healthcare company to convince her that the job opportunity was real. He was asked, as part of the job, to send $ 400 through a Zelle payment app to pay for a needed iPhone. The cost was to be reimbursed to him. Later, crooks wanted her to buy a laptop and a special monitor, which she did not. She never got her money back.
Promising cash for the reshipment of goods
Some consumers seeking employment are offered “distribution jobs” which involve reshipment of goods purchased with stolen credit cards. “Many innocent people employed to do this work are never paid for their efforts and may have their identities stolen or subject to scrutiny by law enforcement,” according to the BBB report.
A man from Dallas, according to the report, ended up giving out his bank account information so that he could be paid. It reshipped around 40 packages, including cordless drills, jewelry, phones and laptops to various addresses. After a month, he was never paid the $ 3,800 he was allegedly owed for his work.
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The nanny scam may involve requiring those who are “hired” to purchase a wheelchair or baby supplies for work. The person receives a fake check, deposits the check to cover the purchase, and then transfers the money to a third party to purchase the required equipment. And you have no more money.
Many times people can look away from some of these offers because they are desperate and want to work.
According to the latest BBB report, 54% of victims were unemployed; 25% had a full-time job; 50% were looking for a full-time job; 28% flexible jobs; and 10% part-time. The data is based on a survey of those who reported job scams to BBB Scam Tracker between 2017 and March 2020.
Anyone who’s recently searched for a job can no doubt tell you about some pretty weird opportunities including quick online interviews through Google Hangouts where you quickly get a job and then prompted for your bank account information on the spot.
Students have even reported receiving emails that appear to be from their college placement office.
You might feel like you’re doing your best to find work, post a resume online, search for work on Indeed.com or LinkedIn. But crooks can also advertise bogus jobs online.
As many people lose their unemployment benefits or see their benefits reduced in the future, there is more pressure to frantically find a job.
âPeople are scrambling a bit,â said Melanie Duquesnel, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.
Often, she said, women with children would like to continue working from home, if possible, to avoid the high cost of child care. So a job posting that appears to offer a work-from-home option might turn out to be attractive.
The BBB report said women made up 66.7% of complaints about job scams, but suggested that it is possible that women are more likely to reach out and file a complaint. BBB said it was unaware of any evidence that crooks target women.
Unfortunately, she said, job seekers have to do a lot more background research on some vacancies that just seem too ideal.
It’s not enough to just go online and see if there’s someone of the same name working in HR at a particular company. The crooks could have come up with this name and just tried to impersonate the professional.
Duquesnel said she would recommend calling the company itself and asking for the human resources department, not a specific person’s name. Then mention that you have been contacted to see if there really is such an opening.
Many times people will be asked to interview through Zoom or online chat services. But it is essential to do more due diligence.
She noted that a woman recently applying for a BBB job in the Detroit subway was offered the opening via a Zoom interview. But the woman said she would like to come in and see the building before accepting the offer.
While Duquesnel said she initially found it a little unusual, she realized that a lot of people understand that job scams exist.
âAs far as she knew she was going to get ripped off,â Duquesnel said.