Unfortunately, many people looking for employment fall victim to scammers out to make a quick buck by preying on unsuspecting job seekers. If you are victimized, don't blame yourself. However, once you realize you have been scammed, you need to take action as soon as possible.
Call the police and report what happened. Give the local investigator as many details as possible. No matter how or where the job scam occurred, your local police department is the lifeline that gets the investigation rolling. Depending on what the police find, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center may become involved.
If you sent money to a fraudulent employer, call your bank right away to stop payment on the check. Consider closing the bank account immediately, and start dispute procedures so criminals cannot access any more of your money through wire transfers. If you gave a company money over the Internet, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to report the suspicious activity.
File a report with your local Better Business Bureau, state Attorney General's office and local consumer protection agencies. The Better Business Bureau may already have a file on the company, or you can be the first to initiate a complaint. Your local Chamber of Commerce may have contacts that can help. Ripoff Report is a website that lets anyone post reports of scams.
One way to avoid becoming the victim of a job scam is to thoroughly research the company before agreeing to anything in writing or sending a company any money. Try to verify details about the business, such as contact information and company representatives. Put the company's name into an Internet search followed by the word "scam" to see what appears. If you feel uneasy or if something does not seem right during the job search process, cut off communication immediately. If a potential employer asks for money up front, that is one of the major signs of a job scam.
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