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But the hire is not so delightful

On this 3rd day of Consumer Protection, we’re talking about earning some extra cash.

For lots of us, the holiday season is a good time to pick up some part-time work. It’s when retailers and delivery services need extra help. And, especially during the pandemic, many of us could use the cash. So how can you spot and avoid a job scam, whether for a temporary or permanent position?

  • Don’t pay to get the job. Scammers may say they have a job waiting for you, or guarantee you a position, if only you pay them. (Maybe for a certification, maybe for training materials, or something else). But no legitimate job will require you to pay out-of-pocket expenses or fees to get the job. Anyone who does is a scammer.
  • Never give your personal info up front. Some scammers will try to get your credit card, bank account, or Social Security number as soon as you’re in touch with them. But that’s a scam.
  • Do your research. Before you apply for a job listed on a social networking site or in an online ad, search online for the name of the company plus the words, “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” Read reviews by former employees. If the news is bad, or very little about the company shows up, that’s a red flag telling you to move on.

If you spot a job scam, tell the FTC at

Search Terms

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

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Elated at Your…
December 08, 2020
FTC, keep it up. Do more of this. Is like every other person is a fraudster nowadays. And they are getting shrew in their ways. FOLKS, DO NOT ANSWER ANY UNSOLICITED TEXTS, E-MAILS, REGULAR MAIL, OR PHONE CALLS. JUST DON'T.
December 12, 2020

In reply to by Elated at Your…

HOWEVER "they" ARE really SMART. Some are obvious, but NOT ALL the time. I just turned 65 this year & have all these MEDICARE +++ PLANS. AND almost got "taken" by a cell call SAYING they were one of these companies. As I am "looking around' for a PLAN---i ALMOST gave my Medicare #! Usually I am more skeptical than that! Thanks, I think you FOLKS ARE DOING A "GREAT JOB" keeping US ALERT. THOUGH I do think IT MAY BE IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND & TRACK THEM. LOTS of LUCK "protecting US"~~~we NEED IT.
December 08, 2020
I was recently contacted by a scammer to secret shop for Walmart. I still do not know how they got my information. I always wanted to be a secret shopper so thought this was real. However, it was not they sent me a cashiers check for $1,825.63. Looked real but was not no phone number on check. Then they started texting me to cash the check and purchase 3 gift cards totally $1400. I was a secret shopper for gift cards at Walmart. NOT! This was a scam and I had them going for a while, they wanted me to give them the code on the cards along with the receipts re photo on text. I told them I would mail the cards priority mail because I can’t see the numbers. In meanwhile I have alerted the authorities and FTC. Thanks for being there!
December 10, 2020
911 call center recruiting required a "testing fee" for applicants. Think it was from a LinkedIn listing. Warned my niece to run away and replied to the 911 company LinkedIn comments that I think they are a scam. 911 answered back that they are not a scam,, but I'm almost sure they are.