BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Police say online job listings are turning into a chance for scam artists to strike. Detectives are investigating several different types of fraud cases.
Gigi Barnett explains what people should watch out for.
Internet jobs may be the fastest way to find a job, apply for it and get paid. Job seekers know that, but city police say scam artists do, too.
Detectives report an uptick in the number of fraud cases involving websites for people looking for work.
“A lot of people are desperate for work and are more willing to take chances without ever thinking of being used by criminals to facilitate their crimes,” said Detective Robert Elkner, Baltimore Police Department.
One of the shams: Job seekers go on reputable websites like Monster.com or Craigslist and apply for a phony job.
When the employer asks for sensitive information like Social Security numbers and birthdays, it’s entered, no questions asked.
“They then become victims of identity theft across the nation,” said Elkner.
Police say awards certificates in the mail from companies offering fake jobs are a big red flag, too.
“She received an awards certificate in the mail. She was told that she was going to get $15,000. In order to receive that $15,000, she has to send a check to Turkey,” said Sergeant Sarah Connolly.
When the bank cashes it, the victim is left holding the bag for thousands of dollars.
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
While police confirm the number of online fraud cases are up, they won’t say how many cases they’re investigating right now.