Fraud and Criminal Activity During COVID-19 Pandemic
A common malpractice that has seen an increase during the last few months has been criminals pretending to be employers and trying to get individuals to send them money.
Criminals will stage actual interviews, and afterwards will request that the individual send money via cash-transferring apps or wire services, claiming the money is for “work supplies.”
NEVER send an “employer” money. A proper place of employment will provide work supplies for no charge, as they are necessary to perform your job duties. If an employer attempts to charge a fee for a job that was listed on AZ Job Connection, please email the details to AZ Job Connection at DERSHelpDesk@azdes.gov.
Protect Yourself on the Internet
Internet email is NOT a secure method of communication. Any information you send in an unencrypted (unsecured) Internet email message can be read by someone other than the intended recipient. It's like writing the information on a postcard that gets handed from person to person. NEVER send bank account information, credit card numbers, your full Social Security number, or any other sensitive information through the Internet unless you encrypt (protect) your email. To learn about encrypting your email, type encrypt into your email's Help search box for information and instructions. Keep in mind that typically, wi-fi connections are not secure if you are using a public or free wi-fi connection. Securing emails from these connections is complex and you are safer not to transmit your personal information through public wi-fi connections.
Common Bogus Employment Offers and Tips to Avoid "Taking the Bait"
Be suspicious of any unsolicited email offering employment. Do not open scam or suspicious emails; doing so verifies that your email address is valid and may subject you to more spam or even viruses. Be wary of any employers:
- Who offer you a job without an in-person or telephone interview.
- Who can be contacted only by email and won't provide a mailing address and telephone number.
- Who want to conduct an interview in home settings or in motel rooms.
- Whose business is not either headquartered or has substantial operations in the United States.
- Who are vague about the position and, during the interview, are not willing to specifically describe the position. Be sure to get specific information on salary, benefits, and any other pertinent information in in writing if you are offered a job.
- Who make vague job offers. If the employer is not willing to specifically describe the position, during the interview, be very careful. Be sure to get specific salary, benefits, and other pertinent information if you are offered a job.
- Who ask for your Social Security number or any other sensitive information prior to making a written commitment to hire you or before part of the actual job orientation.
- Who offer exaggerated claims of potential earnings.
Common Employment Scams
For a small fee, criminals will tell you how to earn money by stuffing envelopes. Promises of big earnings are false.
Criminals charge a fee of hundreds, or even thousands of dollars in exchange for supposed items needed to launch a medical billing business.
An individual will be sent a check to deposit into an account via a wire transfer. Oftentimes the checks are fake and the individual is the one who may get in trouble.
Criminals will ship products to an individual for them to reship in exchange for money, and the individual unknowingly ships stolen products.
Also known as Pyramid Schemes, these involve recruiting new members to earn money. Although there are legitimate MLM businesses, these are based on selling products or a service. When the money earned is based primarily on finding new recruits, it is usually an illegal pyramid scheme.
More Information on Internet Fraud and Scams
While the information above is to inform you of some of the most common schemes, others may exist. See the links below for more information on Internet frauds and scams: