Online scammers are exploiting jobseekers by offering seemingly well-paid work-from-home jobs with Internet giant Amazon.
The Better Business Bureau in the US notes that reports about this type of scam have been steadily increasing in recent months.
How the Scams Work
You get a phone message or email inviting you to apply for a job at Amazon. The message claims that the work will entail website tasks such as writing reviews and listing products. Supposedly, you can do the work from your own home and will be paid up to $6000 per month.
You are instructed to visit a website and fill in a form to apply for the position. Soon after, you will be informed that you have got the job.
But, there’s a catch. You’ll be told that, if you want the job, you will need to pay several hundred dollars for an “enrollment kit” upfront.
If you pay up, the scammers will disappear with your money and you will not be able to contact them again. And, of course, you will never get the promised job, which never existed in the first place.
The criminals now have your credit card details and any other identifying information that you submitted on the bogus website.
The scammers create slick looking job recruitment websites with phony job application forms and ways to purchase the fake job kits. These scam sites are taken offline soon after the scammers have tricked some victims into submitting their information and paying for the imaginary job kits.
New versions of the scam job sites with different web addresses will then be put up. And the cycle begins again.
Be Wary of “Too Good to be True” Job Offers
Be very cautious of unsolicited job offers that promise lucrative positions working from home.
Some are scams designed to trick people into laundering money. Others are designed to trick people into receiving and resending goods purchased with stolen credit cards.
And, many, like the one described here, are designed to trick people into divulging personal information and paying upfront fees for jobs that do not exist.
If you are applying online for a job with a high-profile company, make sure you are on the company’s legitimate website or dealing with a genuine recruiting agency or job portal.
If you receive an unsolicited job offer, do not respond until you have conducted some research. A quick online search will often reveal if a job offer message that you have received is a scam. If in doubt, contact the company directly to ask about the position being offered.
And, any job offer that requires you to pay an upfront fee should be treated as highly suspect.