BBB Abilene says employment scams increasing during pandemic conditions

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ABILENE Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Employment scams are victimizing job seekers mostly in the 25-36 age bracket, according to the Better Business Bureau of Abilene. A BBB press release issued Thursday states they’ve seen a rise in this kind of fraud up to 27% from 2019 to 2020.

“The old-time scams are coming to a new generation now, which is pretty typical. It happens about every 15 years,” says BBB of Abilene President John Riggins.

One such scam that’s been observed is a false employment offer, often followed by a promised paycheck in advance. The “employer” will then request a payment from the victim and leave with the cash before the check has bounced.

Another scam to keep an eye out for is off the books package delivery, also known as “muleing,” where a scammer will call or message their potential victim and ask them to mail a package for them, promising payment for delivery services.

The package (usually containing illegal clothes or products) has often been purchased on a stolen identity. Once shipped with the potential victim’s information, the scammer has laundered the items, removing connection to themselves and possibly putting the victim in danger of prosecution.

The BBB estimates 14 million Americans fell victim to these kinds of scams in 2019, losing $2 billion.

“If you have a doubt about a company, just pick up the phone and give us a call. We’re happy to help,” said Riggins.

When in doubt, search them out. That’s the rule of thumb for suspicious calls or texts. The BBB Scam tracker is available to report and search out scams in your area.

“That information gets downloaded to government agencies interested in those scams on a nightly basis. So you do both good for your local community and nationally,” Riffins says. “Get on the soapbox yourself, go help your neighbor by putting in that information and saying, ‘Here’s what happened to me, don’t let it happen to you.”

“How to avoid employment scams” From the 2020 BBB employment scams report

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