BBB warns of expected uptick in employment scams during coronavirus crisis

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning that the coronavirus outbreak can make people more vulnerable to employment scams and it expects to see an increase in the number of cases.

Unemployment benefit claims have skyrocketed in the wake of the crisis, with people facing furloughs and layoffs around the country.

The BBB said scammers are looking to cash in on the extra time we’re spending inside and online, as well as people looking for work.

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"People do need to be particularly cautious during this difficult time,” BBB national spokesperson Katherine Hutt said.

Hutt said people should be especially careful of any unsolicited messages or emails you get about a supposed job opportunity.

"Employment scams generally try to imposter well-known brands so it will look like job notices from a company that you know,” Hutt said. "They will attempt to get people to sign up for some kind of an employment application or HR forms with the purpose of stealing your personal identifiable information."

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Hutt said the BBB expects to see more criminals prey on the economic uncertainty in the wake of the pandemic.

"Scammers are opportunists and they will go wherever people are in need and right now people are in need of funds, in need of jobs so we do expect to see employment scams go up as this crisis continues,” Hutt said.