These days, working from home is pretty common. It’s a win-win for both those hoping to avoid a commute, and companies looking for talent from all over the world. You might even get a call or message about a job opportunity — but how do you know it’s legit? If a company asks for sensitive info (like your Social Security number) before they hire you — or they say they need you to make an upfront payment — it’s a scam.
Scammers have been reaching out to people, pretending to be companies that offer at-home employment. These scammers are supposedly hiring for positions in data processing, among other fields. But after interested applicants finish long interviews, the interviewer says to give their Social Security number and other personal info. Then, the “company” sends them a check to “buy equipment.” But that check is for more than the amount needed, so they tell you to send the leftover money back to the company — or to someone else. That’s a scam.
Scammers promise you a job, but what they want is your money and personal information. So, before you accept a job offer:
- Do a search online. Look up the company’s name, email address, and phone number, plus the words “scam,” “review,” or complaint.”
- Start with sources you’re sure are legit. Try visiting sites like your state’s Career OneStop.
- Never bank on a “cleared” check. No legit employer will send you a check, tell you to buy stuff with it, and then ask you to send money to cover the balance. The check will bounce, and you’ll have lost the money you sent them.
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.
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- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- 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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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Thank u for your latest Work From Home scam information. The Commission has helped me in the past and I’ll continue to check the site with every email I receive. And as I just did now which is helping me now with my on line job search. Thank you (again) and if the FTC is ever looking for Work From Home assistance I’m always here!
Great to have such a branch of government that alerts us of these nefarious scams.
Absolutely love this post. This exact thing has happened to me right before Christmas 2021 and the "company" got me for about $3000. A lot of the scams that text or email say they received your information from a job site but you usually haven't actually applied for that specific "job" they are offering. I have also noticed a lot of the scams text messages have "Good day" and "Kindly" in them. Just some key points to look at as well!