Report: A Year in the Life of an Online Job Scam – A Longitudinal Study
The following four tips can help jobseekers protect themselves from falling prey to payment forwarding scams.
1. Never give personal bank account, PayPal, or credit card numbers to an employer.
2. Never agree to have funds or paychecks direct deposited to any of your accounts by a new employer.
3. Never forward, transfer, or “wire” money to an employer.
4. Do not transfer money and retain a portion for payment.
RSS, a technology that collects information from Web sites, bundles it together and then sends it to individuals to read offline is gaining popularity. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndicationor rich site summary. Right now, it looks like RSS may become an important part of how people use the Internet. For collecting and aggregating news headlines and tidbits from newspapers and blogs, RSS is convenient and helpful. RSS does have the potential for some real drawbacks for job seekers unless it is thoughtfully deployed by job search sites. However, the drawbacks are a fairly simple matter to correct.
* The December 12 consumer report relating to what became the UMAB scam may be found at and
* FTC Help Line: Call this number to file a complaint about fraudulent jobs. (877) 382-4357.
Thank you to all of the job seekers who have contacted the WPF and shared their experiences with us. Without the UMAB victims’ information, researchers would have had much greater difficulty piecing together the puzzle this scam presented.
The World Privacy Forum began study of online job scams in February2003.
1. Researchers did a background material search for information and collected and read background material on how job scams operated from sources such as newspapers, online news sites, law reviews, consumer protection agencies, the BBB, the FTC, and the U.S. Postal Inspector General.
2. A search for open fraud cases was conducted nationwide.
3. Twenty job sites that varied in size and focus were selected as a first study group.