CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning job seekers to exercise caution to avoid employment scams when searching for job opportunities.
January and February can be the busiest time for job seekers, according to a release from the Attorney General’s Office. The release stated that many people will look to capitalize on new hiring budgets while other consumers may look for a temporary job to pay off gift and travel expenses from the holiday season.
“The job hunt can be exciting, but don’t take just any offer,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Don’t fall prey to those looking to rip you off. Research the employer, verify the intended recipient of personally identifiable information and never give money up front in hopes of landing a dream job.”
The release urged consumers to be particularly cautious of work-at-home positions, as such opportunities may promise flexibility and extra income, but result in nothing more than lost time and money.
The release also included the following tips to avoid falling victim to employment scams:
- Use extra caution when looking at job ads with generic titles, such as administrative assistant or customer service representative.
- Check the business’ legitimate website or call its verified phone number to make sure the opening is authentic.
- Use caution when advertisements urge candidates to apply immediately and use phrases such as “Teleworking OK,” “Immediate Start” and “No Experience Needed.”
- Do Internet searches for the position. If the same job posting appears in several cities, it may be a scam.
- Be very cautious of any job that asks for personal information or money. Scammers often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up a direct deposit or training costs.
The Attorney General’s Office urges any person who believes they may have been a victim of a fraudulent job posting or wishes to report a suspicious job listing to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online here.