CHARLESTON — Thousands of students in the state recently have returned to college or are getting their first crack at higher education and many are set to look for employment to supplement their allowances. College is the first time many young adults are in charge of their own personal affairs, which makes them susceptible to scammers.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is urging job seekers to exercise caution when looking for employment opportunities.
“The job hunt can be very exciting, but don’t take just any job offer,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Don’t fall prey to those looking to rip you off. Research the employer, verify the intended recipient of personally identifiable information and never give money up front in hopes of landing a job.”
Students looking for employment should also be wary of any unsolicited attempt to gain access to personal information and never divulge such information without verifying the authenticity of the recipient.
Consumers should be particularly cautious of work-at-home positions. Such opportunities may promise flexibility and extra income but result in nothing more than lost time and money.
Additional tips include:
- Use extra caution when looking at job ads with generic titles such as administrative assistant or customer service representative.
- Check the business’ legitimate website or call its verified phone number to make sure the job opening is authentic.
- Use caution when advertisements urge candidates to apply immediately and use phrases such as “Teleworking OK,” “Immediate Start” and “No Experience Needed.”
- Do internet searches for the position. If the same job posting appears in several cities, it may be a scam.
- Be very cautious of any job that asks for personal information or money. Scammers often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up a direct deposit or training costs.
Those who believe they may have been the victim of a fraudulent job posting or wish to report a suspicious listing can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808 or visit the office online at www.ago.wv.gov.