AUSTIN, TX (TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION) — The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) wants Texas job seekers to be aware that unscrupulous people posing as potential employers may try to take their money in exchange for non-existent jobs, even sometimes posing as representatives of established businesses or using legitimate meeting spaces to meet and interview victims.
The reported scams can happen online, by phone or in person. Some scammers post from legitimate job-matching websites, such as TWC’s WorkInTexas.com, or have used Workforce Solutions offices to meet with the job seekers. In all cases the job seeker received promises of employment and a request for some type of up-front payment.
Reported incidents include checks sent for the victim to cash. The false employer explains that the so-called “new employee” may keep a portion of the money deposited as a signing bonus and then asks the victim to send the rest of the money to a specific address. The check later bounces and the job seeker is out all the money. Job seekers should be cautious in receiving any money from a future employer, unless they have provided something tangible of equal value to merit receiving the money.
Another reported scam includes false employers conducting interviews through instant messaging or on the phone resulting in a job offer and then asking the job seeker to purchase a prepaid card and transfer the funds to the false employer for training, a background check, uniforms or equipment needed to begin work. Texas residents are reminded that legitimate employers will never ask for money as a condition for starting work. Job seekers should never provide personally identifiable information to an employer prior to a face-to-face meeting. Job seekers also should never cash checks from anyone claiming to be an employer, or purchase any equipment, licenses, certifications, starter kits, or software packages prior to validating the employer.
TWC also warns job seekers that sometimes scammers use the names of legitimate businesses as a cover for their fraudulent activity. To verify an employer, TWC suggests that job seekers independently confirm contact information for the company, specifically the human resources department, and call to verify the job posting.
TWC encourages individuals to check their bank or other online accounts for unusual activity if they suspect they are victims of a similar scam. To report suspicious activity, please call TWC’s Fraud and Program Abuse Hotline at 800-252-3642.
To avoid becoming a victim of scams, visit the Texas Office of the Attorney General online at www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/scams.shtml  or www.onguardonline.gov/ , managed by the Federal Trade Commission, for more information.