Looking for a job can be a time-consuming and stressful process. There are resumes to update, forms to fill out, websites to visit, numbers to call - you know the drill.
As usual, scammers will always find ways to capitalize on this confusion, and they're not shy about targeting desperate job hunters. They'll even throw in unbelievable work-from-home job opportunities from prominent companies to lure in their next victims.
Of course, the last thing you need when you're looking for work is to come across a crook trying to fool you with a job scam. Unfortunately, these types of scams are becoming more widespread each day.
Read on and see the latest update to this notorious work-from-home-scam that you'll definitely want to know about.
Amazon job opportunity is not what it seems
Back in June of last year, we warned you about this Amazon work-from-home scam that was making the rounds.
This is what's happening. First, you get a phone call claiming that a lucrative work-from-home job opportunity is waiting for you. The pre-recorded message says that you can make up to $500 a day with just a few hours of work.
To apply for this job, you are then directed to a link on a website called amzjobs.org. You probably know where this headed, huh? Yep, it's nothing but another scam.
First red flag? Well, it's simply too good to be true. Amazon's work-from-home jobs, typically customer service positions, only pay around $15 an hour.
Another red flag is the application website itself. The real web domain for Amazon job opportunities is Amazon.jobs and not amzjobs.org.
This is an obvious attempt to fool people by naming the fake website to something similar to the legitimate Amazon link.
There are a number of other red flags on the site itself, like reminders telling you that the employment spots are limited and you have to apply quickly.
This is by design since it the scammers hope that you skim through the rest of the page while you rush to sign up, ignoring the red flags along the way.
Similar scams are spreading
In the original version of this scam, the message came from the phone number 816-281-9811, which is now being flagged as a potential fraud number.
But according to our friends at Clark.com, similar job scams have sprouted and people are receiving similar calls from various numbers.
Here's a list of websites that are part of similar scams (as compiled by Clark.com.)
With the way these scammers are using the keyword "amazon," it can get confusing! If you land on any of these pages, please don't give away your personal information.
As of this writing, many of these addresses are already gone, but according to Clark.com, a website called retailincome.org is still running the same con job.
This time around, the site is filled with clips that appear to be coming from legitimate news outlets. If you click any of the links, you'll be directed to a classic phishing page that'll ask you to enter your name, email and phone number. Don't fall for it!
How to avoid falling victim to a job scam:
Job scams have been around for years and aren't going anywhere. Not only do you need to know how to spot one, but also how to respond. Here are some red flags:
- Payment required to get the job - Scammers will ask you to pay a fee for certification, training materials, or their expenses placing you with a company. After you pay, the job doesn't exist. Legitimate employers and employment firms should not ask you to pay for the promise of a job.
- You're asked for banking information - Do not give your credit or debit card or bank account information over the phone to a company unless you're familiar with them and have agreed to pay for something.
- Investigate hiring company - There are many legitimate job placement services. Fraudulent ones will lie about what they can do for you, promote fake job openings, or charge up-front fees. If a company is mentioned in an ad or interview, contact that company to find out if it really is hiring through a service.
- Check for complaints - Your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General's Office, and the Better Business Bureau can tell you whether any complaints have been filed about a company. You might even be able to find out about a job scam by doing a simple internet search.
- File a complaint - If you have been targeted by a job scam like the one above, you should file a complaint with the FTC.
Listen to my podcast about work-at-home scams:
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