One of the toughest things to do is to land a job when you are unemployed. Equally exhausting and stressful is looking for a job when you are desperate to leave your current employee.

This is a situation for so many people in Acadiana, but while you are on your search to find that new perfect job, you need to be careful to avoid people who are looking to scam you out of everything.

Your excitement about a new prospective job may have you letting your guard down, but if anyone is asking you for gift cards to be sent to them because you have to buy your work equipment, that's a huge red flag according to the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana.

Scam Alert with Magnifying Glass
Photo courtesy of Carlos_bcn, Thinkstock

The information is pretty shocking. The newest information coming in for this year shows that people have been scammed out of $840,000 in just the first three months of 2023.

For young people ages 18 to 34, the most common type of scam to be perpetrated on you is for a job that doesn't even exist. Officials at the BBB remind you that no matter what site you go to for a job, you have to be extremely careful that it's the true, legitimate site for that company. Fraudsters can lure people onto their fake websites just by changing a few numbers or letters. This is how they can get you to turn over your personnel information.

The Better Bureau of Acadiana offers some great advice for those looking for a new job:

  • Be very careful giving out your personal information for online applications
  • Make sure you are on a verified site before giving your information
  • You should not ever pay for a job
  • Make sure the email they are using is connected to the company and not a personal email like through a company such as Gmail or Yahoo
  • Research to make sure the website you are using is real. Get information and call the company to see if they are offering that job
  • You can use to check out which businesses are for real
Police patrol car with sirens off during a traffic control. Blue and red flashing sirens of police car during the roadblock in the city.

If something like this has happened to you, the police ask that you contact them, and you can also report the information to the Scam Tracker on the BBB's website. You can also use the Scam Tracker to see what kinds of scams are active in your area.

Here is a real-life situation that the BBB has gathered:

For Donald from Lake Placid, Florida, it started with an email. A woman calling herself Laura Hoffman said she worked for a company called International and wanted to offer him a reshipping job. All Donald needed to do was purchase and send computers overseas. The pay would be $76,000 with bonuses.  

Donald wanted to test the offer's legitimacy, so he bought a single Apple computer and sent it to an address in Hong Kong. He eagerly awaited the reimbursement on his credit card, and, to his surprise, it came through quickly. After that, he threw himself into the job, buying and shipping over $100,000 computers. 

Things were going exceptionally well until one day, in late January, the payments on his card disappeared. They were fraudulent, his bank said, and Donald immediately owed the total balance on his cards. He frantically reached out to Laura Hoffman and Also International, but they were nowhere to be found. Donald had been scammed out of $105,000. He still hasn’t been able to resolve the issue with his bank. 

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