Half a million seasonal retail positions are expected to open this year ahead of the busy holiday shopping period. In retail, hospitality, shipping and delivery, ridesharing, and other areas, seasonal jobs can be an excellent way to earn extra money and gain work experience.
But not all job listings are real.
Scammers take advantage of the surge in holiday hiring by creating fraudulent job posts, often copying legitimate organizations, while offering big pay for little work you can do from home. They use fake hiring processes to obtain your personal data, or pressure you to pay upfront for supplies or training materials. While people of all ages may be victims of online scams, young adults are particularly vulnerable. Many college students receive bogus job alerts and reported losing money on job scams five times more often than older adults.
If you’re thinking about holiday employment, here are some tips to recognize and protect yourself from potential job scams.
Verify the people and companies extending job offers are legitimate by checking Glassdoor or other review sites before sharing sensitive information or sending money.
Do not call the phone number in the job listing or any paperwork the employer provides. That could take you directly to the fraudster.
Be wary of jobs that don’t require interviews or hire you on the spot. That’s one of the ways scammers try to steal your personal data right away.
Don’t pay for any supplies or training fees; legitimate employers will cover onboarding costs.
Don’t deposit any checks an employer sends you to get started or pay the refund they will demand via wire transfer or prepaid gift cards. By the time their check is determined to be fraudulent, the scammer will have disappeared with your money.
The promise of easy money is often the work of fraudsters. If a job offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
We hope these tips will help protect you. But if you are the victim of financial fraud – and too many people are – please report the scam as soon as possible by contacting Redwood Credit Union online or calling RCU’s Member Service Center at 1 (800) 479-7928. RCU can help you minimize damage, try to recover losses, and work with law enforcement.
We also hope you will consider sharing your story with friends and family to help them protect themselves. We all need to work together to shine a light on fraudulent activity.