Throughout the pandemic, fraudulent job offers have been on the rise in Washington state, often targeting independent contractors. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself from fraud — and what to do if you think you’ve been the victim of fraud.
Download this page as a PDF: How To Spot Fraud
Be on the lookout for these red flags to spot a fraudulent job offer:
You’re promised that you can “work from home and generate income” / or “be your own boss, set your own schedule
You’re asked to pay something in order to get a job, which might include:
→ Charging you a fee to apply for a job or purchase insurance in advance of work
→ Asking you to pay a fee for “certification”
What can I do if I’ve been the victim of fraud?
- Contact the company you used to send the money and let them know it is fraud (debit or credit card company, bank or wire transfer, or Venmo, Zelle, PayPal etc).
- Contact your bank and tell them it was fraudulent.
- Ask to have the fraudulent transaction(s) reversed.
- Report the fraud to the FTC or attorney general’s office.
What can I do to avoid this kind of fraud?
→ Delete unsolicited job offers that arrive in your email inbox.
→ Don’t click on any links sent in emails.
→ Research and make sure a company is legitimate before you submit to a credit check. You can check out an employer on websites like the Better Business Bureau.
→ Never give away your bank account or checking account number to potential employers.
→ Stay away from companies that require you to pay upfront “fees” to work.
→ Report fraudulent employers to the Federal Trade Commission by clicking here.
→ Report fraudulent activity to the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions by clicking here.
→ Research potential employers on the Better Business Bureau website by clicking here.
→ Contact the Washington Attorney General’s Office by clicking here or by calling 1-800-551-4636 (WA only) or 1-206-464-6684.