Meridian Star

April 9, 2014

BBB warns of fake job offers

Special to The Star
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     The Better Business Bureau is warning residents about a scam circulating in the state.

    "A Jackson business owner contacted BBB serving Mississippi to inform us that someone has been using her company's information," a BBB press release states. "Eternity Real Estate LLC, located in Jackson, has been contacted by several job seekers attempting to verify the company's information before they filled out an application."

    An Alabama man told BBB that he had posted his resume on a job site and received an application and an employment agreement without ever interviewing for the position, according to the press release.

    Before he filled out any personal information, he decided to check the company out. When he couldn't reach anyone at the phone number on the application he looked up the company on the Internet and contacted Barbara Richardson of Eternity Real Estate.

    "Richardson did confirm that he had the correct business name and address but not the correct phone, fax or email information.  She also informed him that she hadn't posted any jobs or searched resumes on the internet looking for potential employees," according to the press release.

    "We are always warning people if something is too good to be true, it probably is," said John O'Hara, president/CEO of BBB serving Mississippi. "To get a job offer without interviewing for the position falls into this category."

    "Filling out an application that requests personal information could lead to identity theft," O'Hara added. "People need to do their homework before they give out any personal information."  

    Several calls and emails to the individual or individuals using this company's information have gone unanswered.

    The BBB offered the following tips to avoid falling for fake job scams:

    * Job postings with grammatical errors, misspellings and lots of exclamation marks are likely scams. Ads promoting jobs with generic titles, such as admin assistant or customer service rep, and containing the phrases "Teleworking OK," "Immediate Start" and "No Experience Needed" are popular in scam ads.

    * If a job looks suspicious, search for it in Google. If the result comes up in many other cities with the exact same job post, it is likely a scam.

    * Be very cautious of any job that asks you to share personal information or hand over money. Scammers will often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit or paying for training.

    * Check out the business' website to make sure the opening is posted there.  If you are still skeptical, call the business to check on the position

    * Check with BBB to see if it is a legitimate company. Visit ms.bbb.org for information.