Looking for seasonal work? With companies like UPS, Target, Walmart, and Macy’s will potentially add between 100,000 and 250,000 employees to each of their rosters for the holiday season, those who wish to supplement their income by taking advantage of the holiday season should begin the application process. According to the 2022 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, employment scams rose to the second riskiest in 2022, so it’s important to look out for red flags whenever you’re seeking employment.
“A seasonal job is a great way to supplement your income, 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, so be careful when sharing.”
Before accepting a position with a potential employer, consider the following:
Start your job search earlier rather than later. Retail, shipping, restaurants and catering companies are common sources of seasonal employment. This is the time for job hunters to determine which job suits them best, identify companies they’d like to work for and then begin submitting applications and resumes. But you’d better hurry, because many of them will be moving into training mode soon, if they haven’t already.
Does the job sound too good to be true? Any job which promises high pay for little work like reshipping packages or stuffing envelopes or other jobs which require little to no experience is not likely a legitimate opportunity. These too-good-to-be-true offers are an attempt to steal your personal information from a fake job application and can cause problems for you for a long time.
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.
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.