SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Millions of Americans filed unemployment claims and are looking for ways to support themselves and their families.
Many are turning to online job searches hoping to land a position that allows them the ability to work from home.
According to the job search website FlexJobs, scammers are incredibly tuned into the fact that some job seekers are desperate to make money. They use that in recruiting new professionals who may not be accustomed to looking for work-from-home jobs.
"Work-from-home job scams are a steady and real thing in this job market and especially at a time like this where people are really seeking remote jobs," said Brie Reynolds, a career development manager at FlexJobs. "They are out of work and really need to get that next paycheck coming in. We're seeing scammers really taking advantage of these times."
Reynolds recently wrote an article titled, "12 Common Job Search Scams and How to Protect Yourself."
The article warns of the common scams you may have heard of, such as wire transfers, gift card buying, and unsolicited job offers. It also talks about scams known as craft assembly and online reshipping.
According to the article, "Online re-shipping is a very serious job search scam because those who fall for it unintentionally become criminals. Reshipping, also known as postal forwarding, are work-at-home jobs that involve repacking and forwarding stolen goods to customers outside the United States. Although promised a paycheck and reimbursement for shipping charges paid out of their own pocket, those who fall victim to this type of scam rarely receive any money."
Reynolds warned that scammers are after your personal information, such as your social security number, bank accounts, and credit cards. Some are also looking for free labor.
"We see that a lot with supposed business opportunities or sales schemes that are more like pyramid sales schemes where they are just looking for free labor to get more contacts and more people involved," Reynolds said.
Reynolds said there are a few things you can do to keep yourself from becoming a victim of these scams while you search online. She suggested doing extra internet searches on the company and people who contacted you, go directly to the company website, and see if the job is posted on their jobs page. And in the end, trust your gut.
If you're searching the internet for a job, Reynolds has this advice, "Don't use the phrases ‘work from home’ or ‘work at home’ when they are searching online for jobs because scammers tend to use those phrases more than any others. Legitimate companies will use terms like remote job, virtual job, and telecommuting."