DAYTON, OHIO, October 25, 2017 — Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and the Miami Valley and BARRYSTAFF warn job seekers to be wary of scammers online posing as companies hiring. More and more job-related scams are being reported to BBB’s Scam Tracker. Most victims tend to be college age and seeking employment. However, this scam targets every age. These scammers intend to steal your identity and/or your hard-earned cash.
Typically, many of these scams start when victims are contacted by what appears to be reputable firms advising them they have been “hired.” The scammer sends the victim a check and is instructed to deposit the funds and send a portion back to the scammer. The check is not real and once your bank realizes it, you are responsible for paying back the funds sent to the scammer, not to mention any other funds you happened to use, as well as any fees your bank may charge.
One consumer recently posted to BBB’s Scam Tracker that she had found a job posting on Indeed for a job as a mystery shopper for Kroger. After responding to the posting, she received a check for $2,480 and was instructed to deposit the money into her account. Then, she was also told to keep $250 for her salary, but use the rest to shop Walmart (buy product, use Walmart to Walmart money transfer and Moneygram transfer).
Doug Barry of the BARRYSTAFF employment agency in Dayton says this impacts his business because most of his job seekers come by way of Indeed. Thousands of people apply through the website every day.
“Job seekers need to know employment agencies like ours will never ask them for anything until we meet with them,” Barry said. “We’ll never send a check before meeting with a job seeker. We’ll never ask anyone to do any banking either.”
BBB and BARRYSTAFF offer the following tips to help you avoid employment scams:
- Remember legitimate companies will not ask you to deposit a check and send funds back to them.
- Be wary of companies offering a high salary for unskilled labor, asking for an advance fee or making offers that simply sound too good to be true.
- Avoid companies using e-mail addresses that are Gmail, Hotmail, etc. Legitimate firms usually do not use public e-mail accounts.
- Be cautious of messages using improper grammar and spelling, indicating the sender could be from a foreign company.
- Take the time to ask lots of questions. Vague answers are a red flag that should arouse your suspicion.
- Always be wary of work-from-home or secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title. Positions that don’t require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads.
- Check the real company’s job page to see if the position is posted there if the job posting is for a well-known brand.
- Look online; if the job comes up in other cities with the exact same post, it’s likely a scam.
- Beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring.
- Keep in mind government agencies post all jobs publically and freely. The U.S. and Canadian federal governments and the U.S. Postal Service/Canada Postal Service never charge for information about jobs or applications for jobs.
- Be wary of any offer to give you special access or guarantee you a job for a fee – if you are paying for the promise of a job, it’s probably a scam.
- Get all details and contracts in writing. A legitimate recruiter will provide you with a complete contract for their services with cost, what you get, who pays (you or the employer), and what happens if you do not find a job.
John North, BBB president and CEO, says, “Don’t let stress over looking for a new job make you vulnerable to scams. It can be tough to tell the difference between a legitimate opportunity and a bogus job offering. Scammers are sophisticated and are always tweaking their ploy and evolving with the times and technology, making it more important than ever to take your time, be skeptical and do your research. Better Business Bureau is always a great resource. Visit bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.”
About Your BBB Serving Dayton and the Miami Valley
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley is one of 113 local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico. BBB serving Dayton and the Miami Valley serves seven and half Ohio counties, including Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby and northern Warren counties. Your Dayton-based BBB is unique in that it provides business solutions and consumer services in specialized areas to other BBBs, businesses and consumers. It remains focused on the Miami Valley, but through these key products and services, it is an international organization.
BARRYSTAFF has been putting people to work for over 30 years and remains the most successful locally-owned staffing agency in Dayton, OH.
By James Hu, Next Avenue Contributor
Job board sites like Indeed or SimplyHired make it seem easy to apply for a job online. They have a system that keeps your resumé in tow to readily submit. And many offer One Click Application services, auto-filling your personal information in the designated areas. However, I’m willing to bet you’ve never even received a response from one of these applications.
That’s why I’m offering eight Do’s and Don’ts to effectively guide you through the process of applying for jobs online:
1. DO check out the company’s website before you apply. This one is two-fold.
First, recruiters want to see that you have a special interest in their company. They’re more likely to pursue a candidate who has a history with the company or industry and a story about why they’re applying now. Take the time to learn its mission and values. Then, incorporate those into your job history and cover letter. This will help you stand out among other applicants who applied without doing their homework.
Second, checking out the company’s website helps you see if the firm is one where you’d want to work. Isn’t it better to know before you fill out an application that the business doesn’t match your values or is further than you’d like to commute? Save yourself and the recruiter time and only fill out applications for places where you would be happy working.
2. DO tailor your resumé keywords for each job you’ll apply for online. The tendency when applying to jobs online is to quickly submit your resumé and cover letter and move forward. That’s a mistake,
The reason? When applying for a job online, there is a high chance your application will go right into an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to be reviewed by a recruiter. Applicant Tracking Systems parse and sort resumés by topics or keywords, like education or managing a budget.
In order to optimize your resumé for ATS, you should match the keywords in it to the job description the company provides. Online tools (shameless plug: ones such as my company’s Jobscan.co) can help you identify the right keywords by copy and pasting your resumé and the job description into the site.
3. DO add your up-to-date LinkedIn profile. More and more companies now request you include a link to your LinkedIn profile in their job applications. Having an active LinkedIn profile helps show a recruiter that you’re serious about your job search and career. Many recruiters will search for it anyway, so making their job easier goes a long way toward making yourself a worthy candidate.
You can include more information about your background and skills on LinkedIn than through a normal job application, so take advantage of this opportunity.
Before you link to it, though, make sure your LinkedIn profile is job-search ready. Add a great picture, show some of your recent projects and make sure you’re active in relevant LinkedIn networks. For more insights on getting your LinkedIn profile recruiter ready, check out this great post from The Muse: “The 31 Best LinkedIn Profile Tips for Jobseekers.”
4. DO write a cover letter. Although a cover letter is sometimes optional for an online job application, you should always submit one. A cover letter is a great way to talk more about yourself and your experience and to incorporate the company’s values and mission statement into your application.
Including a cover letter also has a more tactical advantage. Many Applicant Tracking Systems will account for a cover letter when recruiters search by keywords.
5. DO make sure the application on the company site is the same as the one on the job board. This is especially important with job-board features such as “one click apply” or “quick apply.” The company site may ask for something specific, like a salary requirement, or request you email someone your resumé and cover letter. If you apply without looking at the instructions and miss something, it will look like you can’t follow directions.
3 Things Not to Do When You Apply for a Job Online
1. DON’T type lazily or in shorthand. Sometimes, our online habits win out without us even realizing it. I occasionally receive applications where the candidate’s name is all lowercase. Not taking the time to capitalize the first letters of your name tells me three things: 1) You lack attention to detail; 2) You are lazy and 3) Working here is not important to you. You don’t want a recruiter to think any of those!
Many people also associate writing online with informality. But when you apply for a job online, you want to look professional and that means writing more formally. For example, for a cover letter, fill a page and use a formal heading.
2. DON’T use auto-fill to apply for positions. Sure, this makes things easier, but you’ll be trading results for ease. If you have ever looked back at the information loaded into your application when using auto-fill, you may have seen that it didn’t align correctly. Your “Position” answer might instead say which college you attended. Or prior employment dates might just show start dates
Auto-fill may also format the details of your job history in a strange or confusing way. Instead of leaving this to chance, fill in the details one at a time, double-checking as you go.
3. DON’T leave sections incomplete. It can feel redundant to upload your resumé and then type in your work history manually, so the temptation can be to leave that section blank. Don’t!
On many Applicant Tracking Systems, the information typed in for job history is more visible than the resumé, which someone would have to click to view.
Don’t forget to tailor these sections in the same way you would tailor your resumé to match the necessary keywords to really optimize your resumé.