CHICAGO (CBS) – With more than 1.5 million people out of work in Illinois since the coronavirus pandemic began, it’s no wonder crooks are trying to cash paycheck promises.
They target you through legitimate job search sites.
But CBS 2 investigator Dorothy Tucker has found that many times these job offers are nothing more than attempts to steal your money or your identity.
“Almost three-quarters of those who lose money to job scams will already be in a financial type crisis,” said Steve Bernas, president of the Chicago Better Business Bureau.
This is especially true in Illinois, where many people have waited months to collect their benefit money.
They can become easy targets.
“People will do anything to find a job or to get a job, so what the Better Business Bureau has seen is they borrow money from others, they take payday loans.” , said Bernas.
But a new BBB Report says it’s not all about the money.
“What they’re also doing is stealing your identity,” Bernas warned.
Savvy scammers do this by asking you for information that you would really give to an employer.
Thirty-four percent of scam victims gave up their driver’s license number and 26% gave up their Social Security number.
“There is no work to be done,” said Bernas. “These crooks are just lying to them.”
Scammers lie to job seekers about the companies they represent, most commonly Walmart and Amazon. Then they post the job postings on popular sites like CareerBuilder, LinkedIn, Facebook, and most often Indeed.
While Bernas said these sites are all legitimate and have measures in place to eliminate scammers, he added, “No website is free from scams. There will always be a way for a scammer to get to those particular websites.
The BBB found that 65% of bogus job ads were for a “warehouse redistribution coordinator.”
“Some of these are scams where you actually have to redistribute money or products to another person using US Mail and FedEx,” Bernas said.
Job search sites are also where crooks find 80 percent of their victims.
“They see your resume. Guess what. Your email and all your personal details are on your CV, ”said Bernas.
People aged 25 to 35 and women were more likely to be contacted by a scammer or see a bogus message.
Students, men, veterans and military spouses were more likely to fall into the trap because, said Bernas, “they trust the person they’re dealing with, and most consumers can’t tell. that this is a scammer you are talking to. They look like us. They speak like us. They dress like us.
The report found that crooks spend days, if not weeks, preparing their notes, even going so far as to conduct job interviews on Skype and Zoom.
The BBB invites you to confirm any job posting – by researching the company and going to that company’s website to see if the job posting is posted there as well.
“It’s just amazing the number of scams and it’s only increasing because more and more people are out of work,” Bernas said.
Here are some more tips from the BBB: You should never have to pay to get a job. Beware of vague job descriptions. And sometimes. you can actually do work and never get paid for it. This has happened in about a third of the more than 10,000 reported cases.
CBS 2 is committed to Work for Chicago, putting you in touch every day with information that you or a loved one might need on the job market and helps you remove obstacles to your return to work.
We will continue to uncover information every day to help this community get back to work, until the jobs crisis passes. CBS 2 has several useful items here on our website, including an overview of specific companies hiring, and state information on the best way to cross apply for unemployment benefits waiting for.