Avoiding summer scams

Help wanted/employment scams on the rise in Virginia (Image 1)
Help wanted/employment scams on the rise in Virginia (Image 1) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - With summer officially underway, the Better Business Bureau wants to help job seekers avoid summer job scams.

The BBB says scammers will lure victims in with fake job postings, promises of unrealistic compensation, and claims that no experience is required.

Scammers have also been known to contact college students through their school email accounts.

The scammers will send students a fake check, and then ask them to send some of the money back through a money wire.

"In a crowded job market it can be tempting to jump on the first offer that comes your way," says Julie Wheeler, President & CEO of BBB Serving Western VA. "It's important to take your time and ensure you are dealing with a legitimate employer before applying or sending any personal information."

The BB says a credible summer job can be found by doing research and knowing the warning signs of employment scams.

The BBB offers these tips when job hunting this summer:


Start with Trust: Do an internet search of the business for both positive and negative comments and then follow-up with the employer. Check with BBB to see if the employer has a good rating.

Get the word out: Check with former employers to see if they'd rehire you. Let your friends and family know you are looking for employment as they may know of opportunities.

Consider an internship: While many times an internship may be unpaid, a company can give you valuable experience that can be incredibly valuable after graduation.

Red Flags of a job scam:

Some positions are more likely to be scams. Always be wary of work from home, secret shopper positions or any job with a generic title, such as caregiver or customer service representative. These positions often don't require special training or licensing, so they appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers take advantage of this.

Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring him or her.

The interview: If you are offered a job without a formal interview or job application, it's most likely a scam. Be wary of jobs that conduct an interview via an online chat or popular messaging services like Yahoo or Facebook Messenger. Do not provide any personal or financial information, as it can lead to identity theft.

Job details: If the employer does not provide you with the details of the job in writing, be wary. When you have details in writing, be sure to read them carefully and ask questions.

Missing contact information: If the employer does not have a website or contact information is missing, consider that a red flag.

Fees: If the employer requires fees for training, background checks or drug tests, it is likely to be a scam. These costs are normally the responsibility of the employer.

Too good to be true: If an employer offers you a lot of money for simple work or to work at home, it is most likely too good to be true. Be wary of any job that claims no experience is necessary.