Email Fraud: Job Search Schemes to Watch Out For

As email fraud becomes more and more common, it's worth being aware of the tricks

We can talk all we want about dumpster diving and telephone tricks, but the fact remains that email fraud is the most common method of deceiving people. And it makes sense: after all, there's virtually no risk since it's so difficult to track emails (and most people won't bother).

Unfortunately, one of the most common victims tend to be the unemployed. Scam artists know that people seeking jobs are struggling, and they count on that struggle to blind you to the inconsistencies in their offers. In other words, they're hoping that the old "too good to be true" instinct -- you know, the one that screams STOP! -- will take a backseat to the "I really need this" mindset.

Get rich quick -- or is that poor?

There are plenty of email frauds out there, but the worst are get rich quick schemes that can end up costing their victims thousands. For example, one common scheme involves sending a check to an individual who then poses as a "secret shopper" at a bank, or purchasing a money order with the check. The funds are sent to another person, usually in Canada, with the victim keeping a small percentage of the money.

Of course, the check is a fake, and that will eventually come to light -- contrary to what you might think if you've seen Catch Me If You Can. And when it does, it's the person who cashed the check who will be responsible for the defrauded amount (not to mention extra charges).

Another common email fraud involves charging potential employees for certification, training materials, or even airfare. These so-called employers will ask for relatively small amounts of money (usually less than $500, and often with the promise of its being returned) -- not enough to make most people suspicious.

Often these crooks even assure you that they have a 100% satisfaction guaranteed money back policy. That means NOTHING. Don't get fooled into parting with your hard earned cash: NO job should require money from you. Sure, some places require you to buy materials and the like, but not over the internet before they've even spoken to you.

Watch out for these employment email fraud schemes!

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