Having a side hustle, or second job, may offer some big benefits: extra income, flexible hours, maybe even working in your pajamas. The trick, of course, is finding one that’s legitimate. Better Business Bureau warns employment seekers to be cautious when submitting your resume to an unknown request. BBB has received numerous calls related to bogus help wanted ads.
“When money is tight, a second job can sound like just the thing to make ends meet, particularly in today’s economic environment,” said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of the BBB in Central East Texas. “It’s important to remember, however, that if your personal information gets in the wrong hands, a scam-artist can do considerable damage.”
Before accepting a position with a potential employer, consider the following:
- Does the job sound too good to be true? Any job which promises high pay for little work and little experience is not likely a legitimate opportunity.
- Keep an eye out for overpayment scams. All these scams work the same way – the crooks send the victim a check, which is counterfeit or invalid, and ask the victim to deposit the check and then forward the excess to some person or company. The victim does not realize that the check is not good until long after the victim has sent the payment to the crook. The check bounces, leaving the victim with less money in their account than when they started.
- Protect your information. Make sure you are applying on a secure server, and never provide a potential employer your social security number or bank account information until you’ve done your homework, gone through a proper interview (face to face) and been officially hired. Remember, your personal information is valuable, and scam artists want it.
- Never pay for background checks or drug tests. This is part of the cost of doing business. If a potential employer requests that you pay for these tests, you will likely never hear from them after they’ve received your money.
- No interview? Not legitimate. If you are offered a position without a formal interview, either face to face through video conferencing, it’s most likely a scam. Be wary of employers who hire you on the spot or conduct interviews via text, email, or through instant messaging services.
- Research side gigs before applying. No matter how good a job seems, do your research before applying. Go directly to the company’s website to verify the job posting. Does the company have a professional website and legitimate contact information? Also, do an online search for the job title and company name. If you find the exact same post popping up in multiple cities or people reporting the job is a scam, don’t engage with the company.
To learn more about scams and how to avoid them visit bbb.org/avoid scams. Remember, great businesses are out there. Always look for the BBB seal; it’s the Sign of a Better BusinessSM . Start with companies you can trust by going to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call BBB Hotline: (903) 581-5704 pf use BBB Scam Tracker.
About BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information. BBB Serving Central East Texas was founded in 1985 and serves 19 counties.