Looking for a Summer Job? Be Careful!

With high school and college finished for the year, many students are looking to make an extra buck during vacation. This can be a character, and wallet, building experience, but can also put young workers in a vulnerable position. Situations involving identity theft and the tricking people into paying money are all too common.

Employment scams can occur when jobs, like selling door-to-door for example, ask you for certain payments prior to you starting a job. This can be known as an “advance-fee scam.” While there may some costs for training and other materials, when confronted with this prospect, be sure that the company is reputable first. You can check on their standing with the Better Business Bureau or search the company name online to see if it is associated with any consumer complaints.

Since applying for a job involves divulging your personal information, such as your social security number, contact info, and even bank account numbers, identity theft can be a very real threat. Here are some questions to ask yourself before giving out your personal info that can help you identify illicit employers:

  • Was this job offer unsolicited?
  • Does it not require an application or interview?
  • Is the employer refusing to give you details about their business?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you should probably look elsewhere for a job.

Finally, here are a few more red flags: If you can’t find any references for a company’s reputation, if they want you invest in the business or buy costly equipment, if their contact info doesn’t seem quite right, and finally, if the offer is too good to be true. If the pay seems outlandish for the job offer, you should proceed with extreme caution.