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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.

By Mitch Lipka Apr 8, 2013 4:48PM

This post comes from MSN Money contributor Mitch Lipka.

Image: Phone © CorbisBeware a new telephone-based scam that involves getting a call from a phony employment agency trying to pry away your personal information.

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.


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Apr 9, 2013 4:13PM

I'm looking for the job of my career and was "treated" to a similar experience yesterday:

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". 


Apr 9, 2013 7:58AM

Phone scams happen everyday, indeed. As a matter of fact, consumer complaints never stop pouring in at 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. 

Aug 10, 2013 10:38PM
I honestly hope this isn't true... because if it is then I just blew my fafsa on an online college course. If that is truly the case then I have a year before I can get access to it again. I have also been trying my best to keep the college thing secret from my family so I can surprise them and show them the degree I got online. I have been out of work for 2 years now, went from living with my mom to living with my sister to living with a roommate to living with my sister again and I finally felt I was making some progress with the gigats thing. I was even considering telling my dad at his wedding this past weekend but I thank God that I didn't. Its bad enough I missed the ceremony because of something dumb, but if I had told him that only to find out that I wasted my time and everyone was there to see my failure... I think I would of just broke down and cried. Idon't have my on phone, the laptop I have is useless since the operating system disk i have is too old to be used, I am out of work, my sister has given me until september to find a job or I am getting kicked out (for good reason), I even missed the main ceremony of my dads wedding, and now I find out my temp agency attempt was a scam and my fafsa (which I got the full amount for) is most likely being spent on a bogus college course if it wasn't stolen somehow in the first place? Now what do I tell my family? This online college was my big chance to show them I was trying to move forward with my life. Now I don't even have that! My dad just got married and I just got reunited with my brothers on my Dads side of the family I can't bring this crap up I'm the older brother! I have been stuck with sisters all my life and this is the first major impression they will have of me? An out of work fool who lost his chance at a decent education because he joined a college out of desperation? I don't have anything going for me right now accept the fact I am getting baptized this month. That is it. If I don't have a job by the end of the month I will be out on the street with nothing but my faith in God.

Okay. I'll start there. Only me and God. No car, no home, no money, no recent job experience, no recent education, no references, by definition... I am a total lose. 
May 3, 2013 11:28AM
I just received a call from JB Positions and was told they are a career matching service.  The caller/robot said I had responded to a survey and asked me for information, then had me spell my name slowly.  It felt like it was recoding my voice almost like a signature.  I quickly looked up the name online and didn't find anything.  When I asked the caller why that was, they hung up.
Apr 15, 2013 10:52PM
A sure tactic to prevent repeated phishing or telemarketing calls is to simply scream obscenities at the very first call.  Non-stop.  Insult the caller's mother and ancestry. Do not let the caller get a word in.  The caller is not allowed to be the first to hang up except under verifiable abuse, so your maniacical (is that a word?) screaming will get recorded.  The head honchos will then hear your recorded tirade and in their infinite wisdom will decide that yes, maybe this phone number really does need to be eliminated from the automated dialers since the screamer is very obviously not a sucker.

Works every time...

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