COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A South Carolina man wants others to not be fooled into a Craigslist scam that lures you in with a promise of a job with Amazon that wants money first.
Brad Williams says he was searching for jobs on the Columbia Craigslist page and saw the listing for Amazon.com. He applied and was contacted by someone who wanted him to upload cash to an Amazon.com gift card so he could be sent a vehicle to do his work in.
He said the email correspondence to the job posting looked legit and featured Amazon logos and letterhead. It seemed legit until they asked for money, he said.
Williams contacted Amazon customer service once his suspicions were raised only to be told that it was a scam. He did begin the process of sending $600, but called and stopped the transaction before it was fully processed.
Williams doesn't want others to fall for the same scam he did. At last check, there are no Amazon.com job postings listed on the Columbia Craigslist and Williams said the posting he first interacted with has been flagged and taken down.
Amazon has a list for customers and others to utilize when it comes to their gift cards and how they should be used. We reached out for comment on this particular scam and haven't heard back yet.
Craigslist also has a listing on how to spot scams. We've also reached out to them for comment.
The Columbia Better Business Bureau also advises against scam job postings and urges all to do their due diligence when it comes to job searching online.
"BBB advises that if you are looking for employment, beware of scam job postings, fake recruiter emails, and work-at-home schemes. These cons often use real company names and can be very convincing," Chris Hadley, president and CEO of the BBB in Central South Carolina and Charleston said. "It may look as though you are starting a great new career, but you are really giving personal information or money to scammers.
Here are more tips the BBB wants job hunters to utilize when trying to spot job scams:
- Some positions are more likely to be scams. Always be wary of work-from-home or secret shopper positions, or any job with a generic title such as a caregiver, administrative assistant, or customer service rep. Positions that don't require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants. Scammers know this and use these otherwise legitimate titles in their fake ads. If the job posting is for a well-known brand, check the real company's job page to see if the position is posted there. Look online; if the job comes up in other cities with the exact same post, it’s likely a scam.
- Different procedures should raise your suspicion. Watch out for on-the-spot job offers. You may be an excellent candidate for the job, but beware of offers made without an interview. A real company will want to talk to a candidate before hiring. Don't fall for an overpayment scam. No legitimate job would ever overpay an employee and ask for money to be wired elsewhere. This is a common trick used by scammers. And be cautious about sharing personal information or any kind of pre-payment. Be careful if a company promises you great opportunities or big income as long as you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories.
- Government agencies post all jobs publically and freely. The U.S. and Canadian federal governments and the U.S. Postal Service/Canada Postal Service never charge for information about jobs or applications for jobs. Be wary of any offer to give you special access or guarantee you a job for a fee – if you are paying for the promise of a job, it’s probably a scam.
- Get all details and contracts in writing. A legitimate recruiter will provide you with a complete contract for their services with cost, what you get, who pays (you or the employer), and what happens if you do not find a job.