Scammers target online job hunters

FRESNO, Calif.

In a tough job market, where job seekers have found hardship, scammers have found opportunity.

"The internet is a great resource for finding a job. Unfortunately it's also a great resource for scammers to target job hunters and make a quick buck," said Alison Southwick with the Better Business Bureau.

Because of the personal information required on most employment applications, identity thieves can set up fraudulent forms. So it's best to leave your social security number out of it until you know the employer is the real deal.

Some employers have been looking at credit reports when considering new hires, especially for jobs that deal with money. So scammers have used fake links to credit monitoring sites to collect information from unsuspecting job hunters, telling them a credit check is part of the application process.

"The big red flag if you are asked to check your credit report is that typically the employer is going to do that. That's not something you need to do, nor sign up for, and that's also something that's going to occur later on in the job process," said Southwick.

Other signs of scams: requests for money upfront, under the guise of paying for a background check or training, and emails with too many typos or especially awkward grammar. That could indicate a scammer working outside of the United States.

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