WV AG warns of holiday job scams

Staff Report

CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warns consumers looking to bring in extra money during the holiday season to exercise caution when browsing or applying for job opportunities.

Seasonal employment allows hard-working West Virginians to buy the extra-special gift, pay down existing debt or give to a special cause.

With a prediction by the National Retail Federation that retailers will fill between 700,000 to 750,000 new seasonal positions nationwide this holiday, scammers have a large consumer base to target.

“Job seekers must be careful not to let their drive for an extra dollar cloud good caution and judgment,” Morrisey said.

The Attorney General’s Office provides the following tips to help everyone avoid falling prey to a holiday employment scam:

  • Use extra caution when looking at job ads with generic titles, such as administrative assistant or customer service representative. These often don’t require special training or licensing, so they appeal to a wide range of applicants.
  • Check the business’ website to make sure the opening is posted there. If you’re still not sure, call the business to check on the position.
  • Use caution when ads urge you to apply immediately and phrases like “Teleworking OK,” “Immediate Start” and “No Experience Needed.”
  • Search for the position in Google. If the same job posting appears in several other cities, it may be a scam.
  • Be very cautious of any job that asks you to share personal information or hand over money. Scammers will often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up a direct deposit or training cost.

If you believe you have been the victim of a fraudulent job posting, or wish to report a suspicious listing, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808 or visit the Office online at www.ago.wv.gov.


Staff Report