KEARNEY, Neb — A study done by the Better Business Bureau showed just how serious job scams are and how they’ve increased as people stopped working in the office and started working at home.
While applications for most jobs are online, Director of Communications for the Better Business Bureau, Josh Planos, said the chances of getting scammed aren’t zero.
“All too often people who are looking for work are contacted by operations that seem real but are really just scams,” said Planos.
Dave Smith from Wichita, Kansas knows this all too well as he was scammed out of $2,000 from an alleged fake company hiring online.
“I don’t consider myself a stupid person by any means but obviously I fell for it,” said Smith.
And he isn’t the only one as the bureau reported more than $62 million has been lost just in 2020 from scams.
Steve Baker, International Investigation Specialist said this may only get worse after the federal unemployment benefits ended in September.
“You’re going to have probably millions of people looking for jobs online,” said Baker.
Because of this, he spearheaded the study to help people know the signs of a scammer.
“We’re looking at trying to figure out what kinds of frauds that people are likely to encounter and what they can do about them,” he said.
He said there many signs of scams.
“If it involves reshipping goods, it’s a scam. If it involves a check where they're going to pay you and you supposedly pay someone else, it’s a scam,” said Baker.
And he said the best thing to do is report it and not let it go out of shame.
“Don’t get embarrassed, get mad. You’ve been ripped off, these are professional criminals, they’re very good at what they do and let law enforcement know so we can build some databases and get these people and prosecute them,” said Baker.
Planos said the first step to avoid getting scammed is being aware of what they look like.
“We know that if we educate the community, know what the telltale signs are of these scams, then they’ll be just that much ready to prevent them moving forward,” said Planos.