I-TEAM: Work-at-Home Scams

ILLINOIS - Finding a new job can be daunting. For many looking for a better life, it's easy to overlook possible scams. Unfortunately, it's more common than you think.

If you look online, there are thousands of ads that promise to help you fatten your paycheck.  Newspapers also contain classified ads, containing job opportunities for applicants in many different career fields, from drivers to airline mechanics.

But how many of these are real, and how may just want you to apply to make a quick buck?

We talked with Sara Sutton, the CEO of Flex jobs, who says sometimes offers are just too good to be true.

“It's really important to be skeptical of what's out there - because unfortunately, there are about 60 scams for about every real work at home job” says Sutton.  

Here's some red-flags to look out for:

First, check the email: Look to see if it uses a business's domain name. For example: news@wandtv.com, rather than news@gmail.com.  Second, make you sure you applied at the company that you were contacted by.

One popular scam prays on job seekers who applied for multiple jobs, hoping they forget which ones they sent in applications for.  Using websites like LinkedIn, the scammer sends a message saying they received your application, adding they're ready to move you on to the next round for an interview.  However, you need to fill out a form with your personal information first.

“In that second form would be things like your bank account information asking for a payroll issue but it's for them to scam you because you actually never applied to the company," Sutton says.

Third, look at the questions potential employers are asking.  Do they make sense this early in the process?

“So scammers will try to get personal info from people that is not just about job history," Sutton says.  "It would be things along the line of your bank account info – your driver's license credit- cards things like that you can get jobs from.”

A lot of these scams involve telecommunicating companies and non–traditional full-time jobs.

Sites like Flex Jobs vet all potential employers on its website. Some come at a fee. Sutton says if you use similar websites, to make sure they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

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