BBB warns of new job scam
You get a call that supposedly is about screening you for a job, but is really about collecting information about you.
This post comes from MSN Money contributor Mitch Lipka.
The Better Business Bureau issued a warning about the calls, which come from a business calling itself "WN Positions." The supposed reason for the calls is that the recipient had recently taken a job survey online.
"The caller sounds very natural, like a real customer-service agent, and it takes you a few moments to realize it's actually a pre-recorded robo call," according to the BBB.
(Last week, the Federal Trade Commission announced the winners of its contest to help find creative solutions to the ongoing problem of robo calls.)
Recipients of the calls are asked questions similar to those that might be used in the employment screening process, including their name, educational background and how much they would like to be paid. Subsequent questions include inquiries about whether the victim would be interested in returning to school or advancing his or her education.
Once the robo survey is concluded, the BBB says, a real person gets on the line. "The caller tells you that the business is not a hiring agency but rather one that 'helps connect people with education opportunities.'" The company also claims it is accredited by the BBB, but the BBB says that is not true.
The BBB says it can't tell whether the calls are a phishing scam, which deceives people into providing personal and financial information that can then lead to such crimes as identity theft. It is also possible the calls could be "a shady way to collect sales leads." The organization urges: "Either way, be careful and don't give any personal information."
In one instance, the BBB says a recipient of the scam later received numerous other calls.
While "WN Positions" is the name of the business currently being used, the BBB says to be on guard even if the calls come from an operation with a different name. The calls appear to be originating from North Carolina and Connecticut, but that also is likely to change over time. Some calls, the BBB said, also claim to be from recruiters for Wal-Mart.
The BBB offers the following tips for avoiding telephone scams:
- Hang up, don't press any buttons and don't call the scammer back. We all like to have the last word, but returning the phone call may just give the con artist information he can use.
- Never give out personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, dates of birth or social security numbers to unfamiliar callers.
- Never give a caller remote access to your computer.
- If you do want to make a purchase, always ask for the salesperson's name, business, phone and address (and verify this information!) before handing over money. Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to help track down scammers.
More from MSN Money:
- Your ZIP code is your business
- Don't be so free with this key to your ID
- The perils of ignoring credit reports
- How to protect yourself from tax fraud
- Who inherits your credit card rewards?
I'm looking for the job of my career and was "treated" to a similar experience yesterday: gigats.com.
I am so upset - went to craigslist, applied for the "perfect" job and received a message via text to call regarding the job.
I called and it was a person collecting information from me in order to send me to a "career advisor".
Phone scams happen everyday, indeed. As a matter of fact, consumer complaints never stop pouring in at http://www.callercenter.com. But if it's any consolation, people are now more vigilant against suspicious calls. We are getting daily updates on the latest phone schemes and it's definitely to our advantage. These scammers can keep calling all they want but they'd be having a hard time finding somebody to steal money from.
Works every time...
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