Fake job offers have increased during the pandemic, according to the pandemic Better business office. In 2020 the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center data showed that 16,012 people were victims of employment fraud. They said they lost more than $ 59 million.

We told you about cyber criminals who fake legitimate companies and post on popular job boards to deceive job seekers.

Now a man from North Texas says a job fraud cost him potential unemployment benefits. Read on to learn more about how to spot the signs of fraud.

“To be too good to be true”

After being laid off last year, Moises Duke was in training for a new job. It was not in his area and it did not provide the full benefit. So when another company looked for a graphic design position with full health and dentures, Duke said he grabbed the chance.

“When I got the offer letter, I thought, okay, I’ll file my resignation with the other company,” Duke said.

Duke said all negotiations with the new company were handled via email. The company informed him that it would be discontinued this way because of the pandemic.

“I tried to sell myself through the emails and everything went well,” said Duke. “At some point they said that due to COVID we are going to send you a check so you can buy the computers and everything. Everything was a little too good to be true. “

He later learned that the second offer was a scam. Since he had quit his job, he could not apply for unemployment benefits.

“The problem is, I quit this company, the other one was fake, so I have no unemployment or a job,” said Duke.

Cyber ​​criminals use sophisticated tricks

Cyber ​​criminals go to extra lengths to make the scam more believable. They can fake legitimate companies – even pull up public information to impersonate actual employees.

According to the latest BBB to learn In job fraud, victims are usually contacted via email or text message, and most believe that the contact was the result of their online job search.

“A lot of people post their résumés when they apply for jobs without knowing that this information is readily available to everyone, including scammers,” said Erica Mendoza, investigations manager for BBB Serving North Central Texas.

Mendoza said that cyber criminals are after your personal information and money. A common trick is to send a job seeker a check with deposit instructions and then purchase equipment for work from home from a provider of their choice. The “seller” is also a fraud.

Once the victim sends money for equipment, the money is gone from their account. Later, the original check fails and the victim’s money is gone.

The Federal Trade Commission explained Just because you can see the balance in your account after you deposit a check, it does not mean that the check has been “cashed”. While banks are required to provide funds from deposited checks within a few days, it can take weeks before they discover that the check is a fake.

“In the end, you transfer your own money to these scammers and then you’re on the hook for the money,” Mendoza said.

Recognize red flags

Moises Duke didn’t lose any money in the end. The scam ended when his alleged new boss sent Duke a check to pay for equipment to work from home. Duke, a graphic designer, said he could see that the bank logo on the till check was not quite right.

“Usually the banks are the ones who make their logo look perfect,” Duke said.

He broke off contact with the fraudster, reported the system to the BBB and posted fraud warnings on his accounts. Although Duke did not return any cash, he had provided the scammer with personal information after they insisted on a background check.

“It’s a bit daunting because you’re trying to work hard to get a job,” said Duke.

He wants to share his story so that another job seeker doesn’t get thrown back by a scam.

“If it all sounds too good to be true, it’s not true,” said Duke. “Take care.”

Other red flags include grammatical and spelling mistakes, vague job descriptions, and the promise of immediate hiring without an interview.

The FBI warns job seekers to be careful about interviews that are not conducted in person or through a secure video call.

If asked to buy start-up equipment or pay for your own background check or check, it is likely a scam – according to the FBI.

The BBB said working from home, where packages are received and re-sent, is a fraud.

Be careful about providing personal information – including your full address, date of birth, and financial information – on your resume or to unverified recruiters and online applications.

The FBI advises that after hiring employees, legitimate companies will ask for direct deposit information for payroll purposes. It is safer to do this in person. Even reputable companies shouldn’t ask for your credit card number.

How to protect yourself

Check the job posting directly through the company. Don’t use a stranger’s contact information. Instead, call or go directly to the company’s website for contact information to validate the job posting.

If you can find multiple websites for the same company, or if the web address is just a few letters away from the URL of an actual company website, it may have been spoofed.

If a job posting appears on job boards but not on the company website, it could be a scam.

Check the Settings Manager email address. Does it match the web addresses used by the actual company? Scammers can use a similar looking address.

You can also do an internet search with the name of the employer and the word “scam” to look for reports of similar job fraud cases.

If a new employer sends you a check asking you to send money to a third party – either via wire transfer, cash app, or gift cards, don’t do it.

What to do if you are a victim of job fraud

Contact your bank or credit card company immediately. If you’ve used a cash app to send money to a stranger, contact the bank associated with the account and notify them of the fraudulent charge. It may be too late to stop the transaction, but law enforcement agencies recommend that you notify your financial institutions immediately.

The Federal Trade Commission highlights additional steps you can take here if you have been the victim of fraud.

Report the scam to Cybercrime Complaints Office.

Notify the FTC on-line or call 877-FTC Help

You can also use the BBB and report the scam of the website that featured the job posting and the company that the cybercriminals impersonated.

NBC 5 Responds is committed to investigating your concerns and getting your money back. Our goal is to give you answers and, if possible, solutions and a solution. Call us at 844-5RESPND (844-573-7763) or Fill out our customer complaint form.