An employment scam generally involves the providing of fraudulent employment search services.  Due to recent economic conditions, the number of fraudulent or bogus employment operations has increased significantly, with many victims losing their money to scams.  Many employment scams involve the existence of a fake, non-registered “employment agency” which is operating without authorization. 

Some common types of employment scams or “job scams” may include:

  • Charging service fees for common knowledge that can be obtained for free from other sources (such as the internet or phone book)
  • Charging fees for supposedly “connecting” the client with an employer or job that doesn’t really exist
  • Various “work from home” schemes in circulation on the internet through ads and social networking websites
  • Federal job scams– these involve the victim calling a toll-free number supposedly linked with federal job opportunities.  Also called postal job scams

In addition, a number of employment scams exist solely for the purpose of obtaining personal information from the victim. 

For example, the agent representative may request that the victim fill out a form and provide them with information like their name, date of birth, social security number, bank account numbers, etc.  The agency may then use the person’s information for identity theft, to access their bank accounts, and other types of violations.

What Can I Do To Avoid An Employment Scam?

It’s important that you protect yourself when dealing with an employment agency or when applying for a job.  There are several steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of an employment scam:

  • Do your own research- many people lose money and information by purchasing brochures, books, or documents that can be found for free elsewhere
  • Ask to verify the credentials and licenses of any employment agency you choose to work with
  • Don’t provide your personal information to untrustworthy organizations or people, especially those that have contacted you online
  • If you’re applying for a federal job, apply only at their website, which should have a section for applications.  Don’t call toll free numbers or supply information to a bogus website

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, don’t pay for a fee if you aren’t sure that the services will generate good job search leads.  Often times you don’t have to pay until after the job search process is over and you’re already hired.  Don’t pay up front for questionable services.

What if I Have Been Victimized by an Employment Scam?

One of the problems with employment scams is actually getting hold of the liable party.  This is especially true of sham companies that have reached you through an online advertisement, through e-mail, or through the use of 1-900 toll free phone numbers.  Such companies may be operating from overseas, or will simply dissolve once their fraudulent activities are discovered.

Thus, whenever you work with an employment agency, be sure to record their important information such as their business address, license operating number, and phone number.  Be sure to keep copies of any receipts or invoices you’ve received.

In some cases, it may be possible to file a claim against the liable party in a court of law.  You may be able to receive a monetary damages award to compensate you for your losses.  If you’ve paid money for false information or fake services, it may be possible to have the fees returned to you.

Do I Need a Lawyer if I Have Legal Issues Involving an Employment Scam?

Employment scams can present many different legal issues, and can be very frustrating to deal with.  If you need assistance or have any questions regarding employment scams, you may wish to contact a qualified employment lawyer in your area.  Your attorney can go over your situation with you to help you determine your legal options.  You may be entitled to a damages award for your losses.