High Unemployment Numbers Fuel New Heinous Job Scams

In this tough economy, it's hard enough for record numbers of the unemployed to find a job. Now, in addition to fighting the frustration of a challenging job search; the desperate unemployed also have to fend off a new trend of clever and unscrupulous online scam artists using deceptively enticing job offers.

With the current unemployment rate at 9.8%, more and more discouraged workers are becoming potential easy targets in danger of being victimized online.

"As the unemployment rate stays stagnant, more and more cyber-criminals turn to that captive audience to exploit them," says Eric Klein, Marketing Manager, Online Conversion, for PC Tools. "An unemployed worker might be online and they'll see a page pop up that offers them the opportunity to make several hundred dollars a day from the comfort of their own home. That's a very attractive option for someone who's looking for work", says Klein, "... however, the problem is that it's a very aggressive and direct attempt to get credit card information."

Klein says one of the more alarming tactics that these scam artists are using to deceive people is using the logos of fake, or even legitimate news sites, to look like a genuine news article. The ultimate goal is to entice a potential scam victim into giving out their personal and financial information in exchange for employment opportunities.

"Some of the sites are quite clearly fake and with a little digging online, you can determine they're not a legitimate news source," says Klein, "... but, many others are using logos for NBC, CNN, USA Today deceiving folks into thinking these genuine news organizations are saying these job opportunities are great, when in fact, they're fake companies using real logos to entice people to be scammed."

Here's how the experts say many of the scams work in general.

  • Illegitimate websites appear with news media logos and fake "breaking news" stories on the topic of working from home to earn money immediately.
  • They try to attract the users into signing up because the site says that there are very few positions left and that they should act fast.
  • When users try to leave the page, the site offers them a chat with an "Agent" to "secure your position." The agent tries to appear as a real person, but it's actually an automated bot.
  • The bot tries to push the user into signing up, repeating that there are very limited places available, and giving links to the sign up page.
  • When users sign up, they are asked for their credit card details. This could result in massive fraudulent charges and even identity theft.

Surprisingly, these scams are having great success even though the offers seem obviously "too good to be true."

"I think when you have a large segment of the population that is vulnerable right now, because financially they're in a more difficult position than they've been in several years... in some cases, they're desperate to get their families back on track and start making money again," says Klein, "... they're going to look for any opportunity they can. There's a sense of desperation with a lot of people that tends to help them overlook the risks in the background."

Klein suggests some basic rules of thumb and some old fashioned common sense can prevent you from falling victim to these increasingly visible and aggressive scams targeting the unemployed.

"You should, quite frankly, not believe everything you read," says Klein, "... when you see something that looks too good to be true, do a little more research. Make sure that if you're on a page that's claiming to be a news site, then also make sure that it's legitimate."

Klein adds, "No genuine news organization or website is going to ask for your credit card information. They're not in the business of processing payments for the types of opportunities that these sites are offering. If you see one that does ask for that information, then that's a very, very clear red flag."

Next: Learn more about job scams

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I work with a 50 year old company that is no scam. We are looking for some motivated people right now. I'm not going to lie, it does take work and effort but if you start your own business that should be expected, right? Let me know if you are interested.

January 27 2011 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not only do they lure you in with their advertisments about someone in your neighborhood that is making money beyond imagination, but with you credit card they can start you on a dream life you have never imagined for $4.98! With that and your card number you are hooked in for a number of other companies who have your information. This is a scam but it is futile to call your credit card company because they can do NOTHING!. Forget a job on the internet. Go sign up for unemployment for the next administration and lay around while you collect.

December 19 2010 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Carey

Well, I guess "Todd" does not want to respond to everyone calling him a douche. Todd, you are truly a joke!

December 19 2010 at 6:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You have read it here. It's an outsource wave that will make slaves out of normal American workers. It will get worse so prepare for the worst. The politicians are sold out on it because the money guarantees their offspring will not have to work. A recent article telling of the story of many companies going to India and also starting woman-owned businesses there as another option. Believe it. And ask who the companies are.

December 19 2010 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree. Even the cell phone companies and cable companies have out sourced. When they ask me why my cable payment is late, I TELL them-- because YOU in Dominican Republic and India took all of our jobs. Cripes, even the health care systems have sent jobs out of the country. I offered to work off my emergency room bill from a damned stroke, but no jobs...all out of the country. And I have ten years of experience and can't get hired.

December 19 2010 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

what- this is old news been around for 15 years or more

December 19 2010 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A relative of mine was interviewed at a Superior Grocery store in So Cal recently. This store is in competition with Carneceria Viarta. She was told she would be required to take a drive at her own expense to a distant location for 'training.' Although there was no promise of a job or the possiblity of being hired. If the 'training' takes place at another store, it sounds to me like a way of getting 'free' labor.

December 19 2010 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How stupid do you have to be to fall for this nonsense, anyway? If I believed all the junk I was emailed, I'd be a multimillionaire with all the lotteries I've won.

December 19 2010 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I never give out info when some1 calls me. Every1 has to be careful these. I know ppl needs work but just hope thay y'all be extra careful. And Yes Cassandra, them dating sites are fake and scam. I've been with match.com. for 3 months and relizes it's just a scam. I never go to any date sites anymore. I figure if I meet a lady then I will & if not then that's fine too.
Anyways be careful and Hope every1 has a good Christmas and a Happy New year.

December 19 2010 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James Evrs

Children, don't be so frustrated...just assume they're all fraudulent...anything you get over the net or in the mail, especially if they give no phone number and return address is a P.O. Box. Any legitimate job offer is not going to remain so obscure and demand your credit card number. Does that help?

December 19 2010 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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