DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers issued a consumer advisory today warning Coloradans of an uptick in the number of reports of fraudulent job listings on Craiglist and other popular job-search Web sites.
“The economic downturn has left thousands of Coloradans without work,” Suthers said. “However, even in these times of uncertainty, it is essential that Coloradans be cautious of any position advertised on Craigslist or other job-search Web sites. If a job sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
One common type of fraudulent job listing involves an overseas company looking for someone in the United States to handle transactions by “processing” payments through their own bank account and transferring some of the money, often via wire, to their employers. The ads promise no tax implications and assure applicants that nothing they are doing is illegal. The company sends victims fake checks and asks them to wire their own money overseas before the bad check bounces. Some of these ads request personal identifying information, including bank account numbers, from applicants.
Another scam being reported with greater frequency to the Office of the Attorney General involves mystery shoppers, hired to allegedly test the services of local companies. The ads say the company will pay an applicant a fixed amount of money to wire part of a check or money order elsewhere. The check sent to victims, however, never clears and the victims are left with an overdrawn bank account.
“These insidious scams prey on unemployed Coloradans’ desires to provide for their families when they are hurting the most,” Suthers said. “Hopefully greater public awareness of these fraudulent schemes will prevent more Coloradans from being hurt during this recession.”
Anyone who suspects a job listing is fake or fraudulent can report it either by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-222-4444.