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Friday, May 30 2014 02:05 PM

ACTION LINE: Don't get scammed while looking for work

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    By Contributed photo

    Blair Looney, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Central California.

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BY BLAIR LOONEY Contributing columnist

Dear Action Line: The semester is over, and now I am determined to find a summer job. I am searching online job postings for a job, but I am concerned about the legitimacy of some of the job postings.

Some job postings look like a scam, while other postings are hard to determine the legitimacy. What are red flags to be aware of when searching for a job?

Dear reader: As the school year comes to an end, thousands of job hunters will send resumes and applications to prospective employers.

Many job hunters turn to online job boards including Craigslist, Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com to post their resume and search for jobs. Although the job board site is legitimate, this doesn't stop scammers from utilizing the site. Before posting a resume to a career site or inquiring about a job, make sure you know with whom you are dealing, and be on the lookout for potential scams.

One common scam is for scammers to send job candidates fraudulent checks in the mail. The package will also include instructs to deposit the money into a bank account, and to wire a portion of the money usually outside the United States. Reasons given for this requirement vary from scam to scam. The scammer makes it seem as though it's naturally a job duty when in fact it's absolutely not.

Be on the lookout for these red flags when conducting your job search:

* Verify a real phone number, email address and company name in the listing. Employer contact information will be clearly available if the job posting is legitimate.

* Hold on to your personal information. Regardless of the reason or excuse given by the employer, a job applicant should never give out his or her Social Security or bank account numbers over the phone or email.

* Never pay a fee. Imposters will often solicit an application fee or suggest a job seeker pay for training -- don't pay! Aside from paying for a uniform, it is rarely advisable for an applicant to pay upfront fees or make a required purchase to get a job.

* Never deposit a check. The job requires the employee to cash a check sent by the company through the mail and wire money through Western Union or MoneyGram.

* Do research. If there is something that you want to know about the potential employer or position, search online for company information and be sure to visit www.bbb.cencal.org/central-california.

-- Blair Looney is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 1601 H St., Suite 101, Bakersfield, CA 93301 or info@cencal.bbb.org.

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