Scammers are posting fake job listings and taking money from unsuspecting applicants eager to make a quick buck, the Federal Trade Commission has been warning recently.
Though these types of phony opportunities aren’t new, bad actors have become more creative and deceptive over time. They are even taking advantage of the changing nature of work. As more Americans become comfortable with working from their living rooms, scammers are pitching more opportunities to earn quick cash from home.
“With companies now asking individuals to return to work, this is a different angle scammers are using to get noticed., so that is another way to hook someone, by advertising a home job,” said John Dooney, an advisor for the Society for Human Resource Management. “It is certainly an enticement.”
Bogus job and moneymaking opportunities run the gamut from offers to sell luxury merchandise from home to fake check scams to careers with the government.
“If you’re in the job market or looking for a business opportunity, scammers are looking for you,” the FTC warned in a recent statement. “They want your money and your personal information.”
A common, butclaims to let people sell luxury goods from home and earn fast cash.
In a broad 2020 sweep of income scams, the FTC determined that consumers lost more than $610 million in four years.
The FTC identified a company called Moda Latina that it accused of targeting Spanish-language consumers with false promises of earning “large profits” from home by re-selling goods like brand-name perfumes.
“It turned out to be a lie. People who engaged in it could not make money at all. If people received goods at all, they were not real luxury goods and if they tried to make money reselling them, they were unsuccessful,” an FTC spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch.
Get paid to shop? Not so fast.
Some scammers advertise jobs for “mystery shoppers” â secret shoppers hired to patronize a business, like a restaurant or retail store. For these would-be jobs, shoppers are asked to spend their own money and are told they will be reimbursed for whatever they purchase, and be paid an additional sum for their time and labor.
Though legitimate businesses do sometimes hire workers to provide feedback on goods or services they sell, these companies never require workers to pay an upfront fee. Being asked to pay for anything is a tip-off that a job offer is a scam, according to the FTC.
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