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Business & Economics

As South Dakotans seek new jobs, scammers seek new opportunities

Beware of scammers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask you for any sort of payment or seek other financial information or your Social Security number.
NPR
Beware of scammers. Legitimate contact tracers will never ask you for any sort of payment or seek other financial information or your Social Security number.

This interview is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment, hosted by Lori Walsh.

As South Dakotans seek new job opportunities, scammers seek opportunities to steal information and take your money. We talk about avoiding employment scams and how one woman's trip to an Aberdeen bank averted greater financial hardship.

Tips for avoiding job scams:

You should never have to pay money to get money. If a so-called employer says you need to buy equipment to do the work, the job is probably a scam. Send no money.

The majority of victims are searching legitimate job sites such as Indeed. Job scammers also lurk on well-known websites.

If a so-called employer sends you a check, talk with your bank to determine if the check is legit.

Communication over a texting app such as WhatsApp indicates you may be talking with an off-shore scammer. A legitimate job opportunity is most likely going to include a face-to-face conversation or Zoom conversation.

Job scammers are interested in stealing your cash, but also your identity. They may ask for bank numbers and routing numbers, your date of birth and your Social Security number, all under the guise of getting payment to you for your work. Do not give out this information.

Be aware of "redistribution" scams. This is where you are asked to "re-box and ship" equipment or merchandise for payment. There are really no legitimate reshipping jobs on the market. They are ways to move stolen merchandise.

Amazon and Walmart are the most impersonated organizations for work-from-home scams. Those organizations do not hire at-home workers.

Avoid looking on Facebook or Craig's List for job opportunities.

Be aware of phishing texts from unknown organizations. Don't click on links. Block those numbers. Set up a separate email for your job search. That way you can shut down your email account if it is compromised.

If you see red flags in your job search, reach out to your local Better Business Bureau for guidance and to report wrongdoing.