Make us your home page
Jobs | Scam offers

Don't swing at a sucker pitch

In depressed job markets, where job hunters vastly outnumber job openings, there are people who try to profit at desperate job hunters' expense. There are "headhunters" who charge for access to a "hidden job market." There are Web pages that charge searchers to see "top-dollar" job opportunities. There are scam artists who present job offers that are attempts to steal your identity. Even veteran job hunters sometimes get sucked in by the offer that looks too perfect to pass up. Repeat after me: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

Lyn Chitow-Oakes, an officer with TrustedID, an identity theft protection company, says work-at-home and pyramid business offers should send red lights flashing.

Overseas scam operators particularly are e-mailing people with offers to be their U.S. financial agents, she warns.

Do not even click on their come-ons!

You should always check out the veracity of the company that reached out to you before responding to any offer. Don't respond directly to the e-mail address or the Web page without checking into it first.

Can you find other evidence of the company's existence? Do an online search, get help from reference librarians, check the Better Business Bureau and your state attorney general's office. Look for news stories.

Never, ever fall for a pitch that asks for your Social Security number or any bank account information.

There are some legitimate work-from-home companies. If you're sure you've found one, ask to speak with some current employees and read their online employee chat boards. Most legitimate work-from-home employers will help you gain access.

And don't get sucked in by big income promises. Those often rely on getting others to buy into the sales system, too.

Chitow-Oakes suggests that when you post your resume on job boards, you can reduce the risk of your private information falling into evil hands if you use a separate e-mail address solely for your Internet-related job-hunting efforts.

Don't swing at a sucker pitch 02/05/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 5, 2010 3:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Exploratory Lab Boot Camp provides real-life technology training to students


    CLEARWATER — At this graduation ceremony featuring some of the brightest local minds in tech, it was the youngsters who stood out.

    Laszo Leedy, 17, a senior at Shorecrest Prep, presents part of his team's project for SPC's Exploratory Lab Boot Camp. Students presented their ideas at the end of the SPC Exploratory Lab Boot Camp. The program provides real-time business training to students. This year's graduation celebrated 15 students that finished the program. 
[JIM DAMASKE   |   Times]
  2. Appointments at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay and World of Beer highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Tampa Bay Watch, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the marine and wetland environments of the Tampa Bay estuary, has announced two new employees. Pamela Arbisi is the new development director. Her responsibilities include …

    Scott Bendert has joined the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay as the non-profit organization's Chief Financial Officer. [Company handout]
  3. Tampa's Homeowners Choice seeks to offer flood insurance in other states


    Tampa-based insurance company HCI Group Inc.'s subsidiaries are trying to expand their flood insurance offerings beyond Florida. HCI has filed with regulators to offer flood coverage in Arkansas, California, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.

    Tampa-based HCI Group is trying to expand its flood insurance offerings to other states. Pictured is Paresh Patel, CEO of HCI Group. | [Courtesy of HCI Group]
  4. Home of Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman hits market at $3.45 million

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is back on the market for $3.45 million after a brief hiatus.

    The Davis Islands home of Tampa Bay Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman is on the market for $3.45 million. [Courtesy of Hi Res Media]
  5. Trigaux: Halfway through 2017, a closer look at six drivers of the Tampa Bay economy


    We're nearly halfway through 2017 already, a perfect time to step back from the daily grind of business and ask: How's Tampa Bay's economy doing?

    Is there one theme or idea that captures the Tampa Bay brand? Not really but here's one possibility. The fun-loving annual Gasparilla "Invasion" of Tampa is captured in this photo of 
The Jose Gasparilla loaded with pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla on its way this past January to the Tampa Convention Center. In the future a vibrant downtown Tampa or St. Petersburg may be the better theme. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]