The holiday season can account for a large percentage of a retailer’s annual sales, and that requires seasonal help. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retailers are expected to hire between more than 640,000 seasonal workers this holiday season.
If you’re looking for such work, the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) says you’ll want to position yourself as an ideal candidate. Who knows? Some of those seasonal jobs can turn into permanent positions. But while you’re answering ads for jobs, be on the lookout for employment scams.
Follow these BBB tips to protect yourself from job scams:
- Do your research ahead of time. Find out which companies are offering seasonal employment opportunities and whether they would be places you’d like to work. Then, research each company.
- Check company websites. Last year BBB received reports of well-known department store names being used in purported seasonal hiring solicitations that were actually phishing schemes. Be sure to check the company’s official website to verify the job is real.
- Be suspicious of online offers requesting money. Many people use online classifieds to search for local job openings. Unfortunately, scammers flock to these sites with posts aimed at stealing money or the identities of job seekers. Never give personal information without thoroughly researching the company first.
- Don’t take an “overpayment” and return a portion. Overpayment for work is a typical “employment” scam. Watch out if your “new employer” wants you to deposit your paycheck and then transfer a portion of money back to him or her. Your paycheck is likely fraudulent and will bounce, leaving you to cover the overdrawn funds.
- Run away from vague company descriptions. It’s a huge red flag if you can’t identify the company’s owner, product, headquarters or location. Just because they listed an ad online doesn’t mean the business is legitimate.
- If you are offered a job without a formal interview or job application, it’s most likely a scam. Be wary of employers who hire you on the spot or conduct interviews via online chat or instant messaging services.
- Check BBB.org for free business reviews to find additional information on a company, including consumer complaints, customer reviews and other details. Report scams and fraud to BBB’s Scam Tracker.
For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee). Consumers can also find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.