Kane in Your Corner: Job seekers warned of employment scams

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A recent report shows that New Jersey's unemployment rate fell in June to its lowest level since October 2008. Still, many people in New Jersey are looking for some type of employment, and officials say it can be easy to fall victim to scams that seem too good to be true.

Sherrye Hawkins says she was suspicious when she received her first assignment from her so-called employer. Her instructions were to cash a check for $1,995, keep some for herself and wire the rest to the Philippines.

"I could really use $1,900," says Hawkins, but since she has seen previous Kane In Your Corner reports, she knew not to cash the check, because it was most likely a scam.

The New Jersey Better Business Bureau says similar such job scams are on the rise. In addition to forged checks, the bureau says to also be aware of any potential employer who asks a candidate to pay for pre-employment background checks.

"If you are accepting a job offer, you should not be paying for anything up front," says Melissa Companick, of the Better Business Bureau. "It is your employer's job to pay you for the job you are going to do for them."

Experts says there are several other ways to spot potential job scams. Job seekers should be wary of on-the-spot job offers without any interviews. Don't share sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, too quickly. Giving a Social Security number to an employer will be necessary at some point, but employers shouldn't ask for it in the first email.

Candidates should also be wary of listings that claim to pay a lot of money for jobs that require no previous experience.

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