COLORADO SPRINGS — This is a popular time of year for job searching as graduates prepare to enter the workforce and people move to new places looking for work. Workforce experts say it’s important to be aware of fraudsters in the middle of that job search.
These days most people search for jobs online using popular employment websites and even social media, but in many cases the job postings are not vetted, so it’s up to us to do the homework on who we are applying for jobs with.
News5 spoke with one of our viewers and workforce professionals who say sometimes that job posting is just a way to get your money and information.
”So I’ve been applying for jobs for a couple months off and on for a couple of months now,” said Kathy Lahr, who reached out to News5 after she says she got a job offer online that she couldn’t pass up.
”They were saying $35 an hour. So, it just sounded really cool,” said Lahr. “I was kind of excited, kind of scared.”
But as the process played out she says she started to spot some red flags, including how this employer wanted to communicate.
”It was messaging. No video. I never heard a voice,” said Lahr. ”Everything I answered was correct and she said you sound perfect for the job.”
Then, a UPS package arrived at her home. Inside of the envelope was a check for $4,800 and a note with instructions on what to do next. Lahr believes the employer wanted her to use the check to buy a laptop to send back to them along with some of the funds.
The Federal Trade Commission says if you get an offer that includes depositing a check and then using some of the money for any reason, that’s a scam. The FTC also notes the check will bounce, and the bank will want you to repay the amount of the fake check.
The experts at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center agree.
”If you receive something in the mail with a check, or telling you to go to Walmart or Walgreens to purchase gift cards, or purchase a computer and then send it to us to load software, we know those are scam alerts, red alerts when you are searching for a job,” said Pikes Peak Workforce Center Executive Director and CEO Traci Marques.
If you are unsure about a company, or just need help navigating some of these challenges in your job search, you can walk in or contact the staff at the Pikes Peak Workforce Centerfor help.
”We’ve got staff that’s here to help you and can help you vet that organization. Feel free to come in and see us,” said Marques.
Larh says she’s grateful she had seen some previous News5 coverage that helped her avoid giving up sensitive information and her hard earned money. She decided to cut ties with the potential employer.
”I said do me a favor, never contact me again,” said Lahr.
If you are searching for a job in Colorado, a resource you should know about is https://www.connectingcolorado.com/
The Pikes Peak Workforce Center tells News5 every company posting jobs on Connecting Colorado has been vetted by workforce center staff throughout the state.
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