During the summer season, you may be too eager to look for a job to maximize your free time and earn some extra money. However, what you think is a great summer job opportunity might just turn out to be a scam. So, instead of growing your savings, you end up losing your money and possibly even facing the consequences of identity theft. In the article below, we will discuss the potential increase of job scams after the pandemic, the different types of summer job scams, and how you can avoid them. Keep reading to keep your summer productive and stress-free!
Potential Increase of Job Scams After the Pandemic
As millions of Americans lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, job scams increased. Based on the Federal Trade Commission reports, there was a rise in complaints about fake employment agencies, overseas work, and multi-level marketing scams. Scammers would offer lucrative jobs that pay thousands of dollars for just a few hours of work per day. Because of the desperation to find a job amid this crisis, many people have gotten scammed.
Even after the pandemic, job scams might still continue to increase, especially given that everyone is getting used to working from home setups. Thus, scammers can keep creating different job scams.
Types of Summer Job Scams
One way to protect yourself from summer job scams is knowing the following different types and tactics applied by scam artists:
Work From Home Scams
Fake work-from-home opportunities are prevalent, especially during the summer season. Scammers will start by telling you that you can be your own boss and work at your own pace. They will claim that you can make $85,000 or more in one year by just working one hour per day. While the numbers sound tempting, know that this is a scam. From selling online goods or reshipping them to paying for starter kits, scam artists always find ways to earn from you, not the other way around.
In relation to work from home scams, advance-fee scams are also a common strategy. Scammers ask you to pay a certain fee in advance for you to register, create a website, or get the products that you will then sell. Other scammers will even tell you to pay for job training. While you think you can get the money back, these crooks will never show up and even end up stealing your identity. That is why you should never agree with making up-front payments.
Mystery Shopping Scams
One of the most common summer job scams is mystery shopping. While earning money to shop seems like a wonderful opportunity, especially if you’re a student, you might just end up even more broke. As a mystery shopper, you would have to pay for the product or service, share your experience, and then get reimbursed later on. If you’re asked to pay to work, then it’s most likely a scam.
Virtual Personal Assistant Scams
Among the typical summer job scams are fake virtual personal assistant offers. Scammers will send you an email telling you that they belong to the same organization as your college or university. They will then send a check but tell you to send a portion of the money to another person. Later on, you’ll find out that the check was fake, and you’ll end up paying the bank for the full amount.
How To Avoid Summer Job Scams
Outsmart tricksters by following these tips on how to avoid summer job scams:
- Perform thorough research about the company. Before accepting any job offer, read online reviews, and check for possible complaints about the company.
- Never make upfront payments to people you don’t know. Doing this defeats the purpose of getting a job to earn money.
- Be skeptical about attractive offers that do not require much work. Getting thousands of dollars for a minimal effort seems like a dream job. But remember that unrealistic job opportunities are usually a scam.
- Beware of vague job descriptions. If no specific skills and experience are required, and higher pay is repeatedly mentioned without the actual details of the job itself, you’re most likely dealing with a scam.
- Watch out for spelling, capitalization, typographical, and grammatical errors in emails and job descriptions.
- Stay suspicious of employers who do not make video calls for the interview. If they only rely on text or private messages, they are most probably not legitimate employers.
- Report scams using the BBB Scam Tracker. You can also send your complaints about identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.
Summer Job Scams: Detect Them Early With Social Catfish
While you’re trying to earn extra money during summer, scammers are just waiting for you to get tricked with their fake job offers. To spot these scammers and confirm their identity, visit Social Catfish and run a quick reverse search.