Beware of summer employment scams

Summertime means some people are out looking for a part time job before school starts again, or they are looking to supplement their income with an additional job. Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York wants everyone to be aware of employment scams, especially this time of year.

BBB’s Scam Tracker shows several job scams, mostly “work from home” schemes. One person said they received an offer to be a mystery shopper who would be paid $198 for each survey they completed. This person didn’t fall for the scam; what tipped her off was all of the misspelled words in the email.

employment scams

Don’t let employment scams fool you

Scammers find their victims through email and job sites, whether by posting a “position” or reaching out directly to the person. Common signs of scam job offers are flexible hours or the ability to work from home. The position usually pays well for little work and the name of the company may be made up or similar to a well-known company. What we’ve also found is that the scammers are not even in this country.

Be sure to look at the contact information in the posting. If asked to apply by email, check that the address listed is on the company’s domain (, Also, look at the website of the company. A real website has an “S” in the URL (https) which shows that it is secure. Unsecured websites put not only your computer but also your personal information at risk.

Ask yourself these questions when job searching:

  • Is this company real? – Compare the contact information in the offer to the information listed on the company’s website. Confirm the job opening by getting in touch with the company. You can also check the company’s profile on – it will tell you the type of business and its reputation.

  • Are we moving too fast? – A business will not ask you for any personal information before you are hired. This includes your home address, Social Security number, or bank accounts.

  • Where’s my interview? – Business will rarely make hiring decisions over the phone without a formal interview. An on-the-spot offer could be a sign of trouble.

  • Is this realistic? – If the job requires no experience and offers decent pay for few hours and easy work, that’s a red flag. Common titles in employment scams include secret shopper, caregiver, or customer service representative.

Advice for students: Work with the career center at your school to avoid falling for employment scams. Scams can be reported to BBB’s Scam Tracker.


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