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False employment scams afoot

Special to the Courier

Officials with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) warn Texas job seekers about scams that involve individuals posing as potential employers in order to collect money in exchange for non-existent jobs.
Some fake employers have even used the names of established businesses and interviewed job candidates in legitimate meeting spaces in order to scam individuals out of money.
False employment scams can happen online, by phone or in person. Some scammers post fake job notices on legitimate job-matching websites and meet and interview job seekers in public places. In all cases, the job seeker received promises of employment and a request for some type of up-front payment.
Job seekers should never cash checks from businesses or purchase any equipment, licenses, certifications, starter kits or software packages from them unless they have verified that the company and the offer are legitimate. Employers will never ask for money as a condition for starting work. Job seekers should also never provide personal information to an employer unless they have had a face-to-face meeting at the worksite or contacted the company's human resource office to verify the offer.
Personal information includes the name of your bank, credit card, bank account or social security numbers. TWC safeguards personal information on WorkInTexas.com by using stringent online security measures and by screening job seekers and employers registered through the site. Site activity is continually monitored and when suspicious activity is detected, immediate action is taken to lock accounts and contact the parties involved. TWC validates employers registered on the site to ensure that accounts and job postings are from legitimate businesses.
Job seekers, who suspect that a job posting on WorkInTexas.com is not authentic, should report it immediately by clicking on the "Report a Problem" with this Job Posting link located at the bottom of the job posting page on the right hand side. The job posting and potential employer will be reviewed for authenticity by workforce staff.
TWC also encourages individuals to check their bank or other online accounts for unusual activity if they suspect they have bee victims of a similar scam. To report suspicious activity, 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 about potential employment scams, visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0243-job-scams.