Scam alert: BBB warns of new job interview scam involving messaging app, personal information

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a new job scam.
The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a new job scam.(Wpadington via canva)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 4:57 PM CDT
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(Gray News) - The Better Business Bureau says scammers love to bring back an employment scam whenever the economy threatens to take a dip.

The BBB Scam Tracker has received multiple reports of a new job scam twist that involves downloading a messaging app.

Officials with the BBB say the scam starts with people receiving a message from someone interested in hiring them. It might come through email, text or even a social media platform.

At first, this “recruiter” seems professional. They claim to have seen your resume on a job search site and want to interview you for a position. But first, you need to download a messaging app, such as Telegram.

Once you download the app, the “recruiter” will begin sending you messages and will ask you to complete a few interview questions. After giving you enthusiastic feedback, they will offer you a position with their company.

This interaction is followed by an official-looking contract to fill out and sign, according to the BBB.

After you sign, the scammer will ask for your name, address, date of birth, and banking information, claiming they need to add you to direct deposit payroll and other company systems.

However, the BBB warns if you provide this sensitive information, you could easily become a victim of identity theft.

And some versions of this scam don’t end there.

As a new hire, you are referred to a “training manager” who will help you set up your home office. This person sends you a check to buy a laptop and other supplies.

After depositing the check, your contact will say that you were overpaid and need to return a portion of what you deposited. However, the check is fake, and any funds you “return” to your new employer will be long gone.

The BBB said a victim of such a scam lost $3,000.

Officials with the BBB advise consumers to research job offers first, beware of jobs that involve receiving and returning money, be careful with your personal information and watch out for easy hires.

More information on avoiding employment scams is also available here.

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