With a variety of work-at-home job opportunities advertised, Better Business Bureau often reminds consumers that corrupt employers are lurking. But what if it's too late? Many job hunters don't realize that they've been scammed until personal or financial information has already been released to a fraudulent company.
"For some reason, I never looked up the company to see if it was legit, and that night, I started to panic about the money I had just spent - so I called my credit card company and asked them what I could do to get out of this situation," said Sara Berlin, a Washington resident looking for a work-at-home opportunity.
For consumers who believe they've provided personal or financial information to a suspicious employer, BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington offers the following steps:
- Research: Look up the company name, contact information and hiring manager on an Internet search engine. Be wary of negative reports and unresolved complaints. Search for their BBB Reliability Report.
- Back-out: Immediately contact and explain to the potential employer that you're no longer interested in the job; politely request that they shred and securely destroy your application and resume. Try to annul advance fee transactions and ask for confirmation of the cancellation.
- Monitor: If the employer continues charging fees, contact your bank, financial institution or credit card provider to stop reoccurring or unwanted payments. Consider closing compromised accounts.
- Protect: Monitor bank accounts, credit card statements and credit reports for unauthorized activity. BBB offers additional steps for identity theft victims. For more identity theft help, visit www.idtheft.gov.
- Report: File complaints with BBB, the Federal Trade Commission and Internet Crime Complaint Center.