FTC Reports $367 Million Lost by Consumers to Job Opportunity Scams in 2022

FTC Reports $367 Million Lost by Consumers to Job Opportunity Scams in 2022
May 16, 2023

According to a consumer alert, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) saw a 76% increase in people who lost money to business and opportunity scams. This percentage is a notable increase in 2022 compared to 2021. Furthermore, victims claimed they lost $367 million through these scams. According to the FTC, the median loss for all fraud types went from $600 to $2,000.

Business and opportunity scams have become so common, they now count among the top ten frauds reported to the FTC. Due to this sharp increase, everyone should be on the lookout for these scams. If you are out of work and looking for a job, losing money to these scams could prove devastating. Though no one wants to lose money to them, scams continue tempting people with their lies. For example, many ploys promise you can work from home, start a business, and even list good-paying jobs.

Here are examples of actions you can take to avoid falling victim to these scams:

  • Never provide personal information upfront. No matter how excited you get about starting a new job, understand that a legitimate employer will never ask for your Social Security Number or bank account information upfront. They need this personal information later in the hiring process, such as when you have received the contract with your start date. These scams could lead to cases of identity theft.
  • Be sure to research any offers. Always investigate a job thoroughly before accepting it to ensure it is legitimate. Scammers often pretend they are part of a legitimate company when posting jobs, so you should look up the company’s information and contact them about the job. This precaution should confirm the legitimacy of the offer.
  • Do not assume a check will clear. Honest employers will never send a check and tell you to buy gift cards or work supplies. Furthermore, they will not ask you to send the remaining balance back. This practice is a scam and involves a check that never clears. Instead, it bounces, and the bank will have you repay the value spent.
  • Never Pay for Equipment to Perform a Position. A legitimate employer will never ask you to pay for equipment to perform your job. Your prospective “employer” likely intends to take the money and disappear, so if they ask you to pay for anything, move on.

The FTC has confirmed what many job seekers have noticed for months: Job scams have grown considerably over the last year. For jobseekers, it pays to research prospective employers as thoroughly as the legitimate ones will investigate you. Should you run into a scam or want to ensure your information is safe, consider performing a self-background check. A self-check allows you to look at your records and provide you with opportunities to dispute inaccuracies caused by scammers.

Discover more about our reliable and secure self-background checks by clicking here. Get started today.