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 re-ship products or sell things to people you know

You’re contacted by a stranger offering you a job opportunity (via phone, email, or targeted ads)

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?

  1. 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).
  2. Contact your bank and tell them it was fraudulent.
  3. Ask to have the fraudulent transaction(s) reversed. 
  4. 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.

Additional resources

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.