Fake employment agency targets job seekers

BBB warns of con artists targeting online job hunters

Job hunters beware. A fake employment agency is trying to trick people into giving up personal information, photos and their signature. Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific has received a BBB Scam Tracker report from a woman who applied for a position with Entire Jobs. During the application process she was asked to provide her personal contact information, a photo and signature. Fortunately, this correspondence alerted her that it was a scam.

The company claims to have offices in Seattle and has posted job openings to popular online job posting websites. BBB investigators found the advertised location in Seattle to be the site of another business. Furthermore, the Seattle location listed in the privacy policy is actually a Canadian address in Ontario. BBB was also unable to locate a business license or registration for the company in Washington. BBB investigators believe the information the company is requesting could be used to create fake identities.

BBB offers the following tips to spot a job scam:

■ Some positions are more likely to be scams. Always be wary of work-from-home or secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title such as caregiver, administrative assistant or customer service rep. These positions don’t usually require special training or licensing, which makes it appealing to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads.

■ Research job postings. If the job posting is for a well-known brand, check the real company’s job page to see if the position is posted there. Look online; if the job comes up in other cities with the exact same post, it’s likely a scam.

■ Different procedures should raise your suspicion. Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring.

■ Don’t fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask for money to be wired elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers. And be cautious sharing personal information or any kind of pre-payment. Be careful if a company promises you great opportunities or big income as long as you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories.

■ Government agencies post all jobs publicly and freely. Government agencies never charge for information about jobs or applications for jobs. Be wary of any offer to give you special access or guarantee you a job for a fee – if you are paying for the promise of a job, it’s probably a scam.

■ Get all details and contracts in writing. A legitimate recruiter will provide you with a complete contract for their services with cost, what you get, who pays (you or the employer), and what happens if you do not find a job.

If you have been contacted by this company, please report your experience to BBB’s Scam Tracker at BBB.org/ScamTracker.

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