A lot of people may be looking for a new job right now because of the high unemployment numbers across the state. Make sure to keep your guard up and watch for scams if you are searching for a new job online.
I talked to one man named John who was looking for a job online when he came across a listing that seemed like a great fit, so he sent his resume. A man replied and told him to download a separate application where they could send messages online. It can be a red flag when the poster asks you to leave the original website where you first applied for the job.
The potential employer asked John several questions and eventually told him that he got the job. The position would pay nearly $50 an hour, working from home and the hours would be flexible. The man told John the company was located in Europe. The employer would mail John a new laptop but he needed to purchase new software to install on the computer.
“They emailed me a cashier’s check in a PDF form,” said John. “I’ve never heard of that, so I called the bank.”
Things weren’t adding up and John noticed several red flags. The position sounded too good to be true and the employer had some grammatical errors in his messages. He called local law enforcement to report the scam and then reached out to us to help get the word out.
“This could actually hurt somebody because it’s pretty elaborate,” said John. “I wanted it out so that other people don’t fall victim to this, especially now because of all the high unemployment due to COVID-19.”
John didn’t deposit the check and stopped responding to the messages. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns that you should never pay money to earn money. The FTC said scammers will sometimes ask you to pay a fee for certification, training or other expenses, but after you spend the money, the job doesn’t materialize. Don’t give out your credit card, bank account or any other personal information unless you know you are dealing with a legitimate company.
If you need to file for unemployment, you can call the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment at 303-318-8000. The state of Colorado also created a new website to help those affected by job loss right now, just visit www.OnwardCO.org. You can also reach out to the Pikes Peak Workforce Center at 719-667-3700.
You can report scams, fraud and price gouging to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office at 800-222-4444. If you are looking for resources in our area, you can always reach out to Pikes Peak United Way by calling ‘211’.