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Job processing payments may be scam

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about sending personal information to potential employers for jobs "processing payments for clients."

The con artist pretends to be a company located overseas that is seeking job applicants. He or she places an online ad or gathers information from resumes posted online to locate potential victims.

Information is given about the type of company and even the reason why the payment can not be processed where the company is located.

In the most recent case, the company, Fine Arts Company, stated "We have clients we supply weekly in United State and Canada. Our clients make payments for our supplies every week in form of money orders, bank draft and checks, which are not readily cashable outside the United States. So we need someone in United State to work as our representative and assist the company in processing the payments from our clients and we will pay him/her weekly salary."

Better Business Bureau President Jane Driggs, said "Note the slightly stilted syntax: this is often a tip-off that an offer is not legitimate."

The job offer involves depositing checks into the "employee's" personal bank account. The employee is then asked to forward or wire transfer most of the check amount to the company, and to keep a small portion as their salary.

The deposited checks turn out to be counterfeit and the "employee" loses the money forwarded from their bank account as well as any money they have withdrawn against the original check.

If the con artist gains personal information (e.g., Social Security, driver's license or bank account numbers), under the ruse of an employment security check or for tax purposes, the "employee" could also become the victim of identify theft.

The BBB advises job seekers to:

•Avoid all employment offers that require you to accept checks for deposit in your personal account and then forward payments elsewhere.

•Never divulge personal information on the Internet. Prospective employers, whether they be for-profit or charity-related, should not request that you provide your driver's license number, date of birth, Social Security number or any other personal identification until they have met you in person and offered you the job.

•Do not be fooled by impressive-looking Web sites that mention well-known personalities and/or official contacts.

•Check out a business with the Better Business Bureau.

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