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Avoiding Employment Scams in Wisconsin

 Posted on February 21, 2022 in Employment Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_JAKheadshot_20220221-181537_1.jpgBy: Attorney Jaclyn Kallie

Scams that prey on those who are seeking employment can be particularly cruel - and they are on the rise. Parents of young children, in particular, began seeking work-from-home opportunities more and more during COVID-related school and office closures. In the past, employment scams were a bit easier to spot. Before the pandemic, the simple fact that an employment ad offered a well-paid work-from-home opportunity was often enough to raise suspicions and trigger a deeper investigation. Now that a significant number of legitimate companies have most or all employees working remotely, spotting an employment scam can be trickier. There are, however, a few signs of a questionable position you can keep an eye out for. 

What Are Some Telltale Signs of an Employment Scam?

The sad truth is that these scams prey on those who are already struggling and in need of work. Parents of young children who suddenly had little choice but to work from home when schools shifted to online learning during the pandemic are common victims. Other common victims are young adults struggling to break into the workforce, who may lack the life experience to spot a questionable job ad. Signs to look out for include:

  • Startup costs - You should never be asked to pay for training or be required to purchase anything from an employer to begin working. In some cases, the scammer may simply take your money and vanish. 

  • Check first - If you receive a check before you have begun working, question it - especially if the “employer” asks you to return or send out any portion of the funds. The check will not clear, and you will have lost any money you already sent out. 

  • Shipping - Any job that consists primarily of receiving and then re-sending packages is almost certainly a scam. If a legitimate company were shipping legal goods, there would be absolutely no reason for them to use a middleman. They would simply use an established shipping company or the USPS. 

  • No name - Be extremely wary if the name of the company does not appear in the ad, or if you are unable to find any information about them online. 

  • Vague description - A legitimate job posting would be reasonably specific about what qualifications are needed and what the job duties would be. Companies who are hiring typically want to hear from only applicants who would be a good fit, while scammers cast a wide net. 

If you are unsure about whether a job posting is legitimate, it is best to proceed with caution. Try googling the name of the company or keywords from the ad with “scam” and pay close attention to the results. 

Call a Wisconsin Employment Law Attorney

Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP assists with legal issues related to employment. Our experienced Milwaukee employment lawyers can offer help with a wide variety of concerns that may arise between employers and employees. Call 414-271-1440 for a confidential consultation. 




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