SACRAMENTO - Many Americans, desperate for work, are finding themselves victims of online job scams.
Gary Almond, President of Sacramento's Better Business Bureau, says California's high unemployment rate, which hit 12 percent in July, means people are more vulnerable to job scams. "This happens just every single day. People continually fall for this because they're forever hopeful."
Almond says you can find job scams posted on most online job boards. Toni Polk lives in Pollock Pines and says because of internet scams her job search has been frustrating. "One day I will apply for 15 jobs off Craigslist, I would say probably 12 of them are scams, and you can't tell when you apply for them."
Most scammers either want your money, personal information to commit identity fraud, or your email address which can be sold.
The Better Business Bureau says with work-at-home scams alone, they've seen a 13 percent increase in complaints nationwide. Work-at-home scams often target the elderly, disabled, sick and stay-at-home mothers, since home-based employment is appealing to these groups.
One example of a work-at-home scams is craft assembly. You pay money, $50 for example, to buy raw materials to assemble toys or crafts and are promised a paycheck in exchange for the finished product. "Whatever you submit to them you've had to buy materials specifically from them and then whatever you submit never meets their data quality requirements. You can't make any money at this," says Almond. So, the scam victim simply ends up out $50 and left with a bunch of crafts.
If you feel that you've been the victim of a scam you need to file a police report at your local police station and alert the credit agencies if you feel your identity has been compromised.