Internship seekers falling for employment scams during holiday hiring surge

BALTIMORE — Holiday hiring is in full swing. Many retailers are looking to bring on workers to handle the surge in demand, but not all job postings are the real deal.

“The post was a bit vague, but I trusted it because it was from someone in the community that lived here,” said Doris Krupp who responded to a Facebook post about a part-time remote job with flexible hours.

“And then she had me download this chat software called Signal. I’ve never heard of it before, but I haven’t really done interviews in many years,” Krupp said.

The interviewer said the company is TTEC and the job is a data entry position. Krupp chatted with the interviewer for about three hours.

“I thought he was asking a few very odd questions like he asked for my credit score, if I had a good credit score,” said Krupp. “And then he says I’m hired, I’m like terrific.”

To complete the onboarding process, he asked for her full name, address, and front and back photo of her driver’s license.

“Asked me if I knew where I could buy Apple gift cards, like is there a Target near me, which I guess he knew there was because he now had my address. And as soon as things got weird, I immediately deleted my driver’s license,” said Krupp.

Krupp ended the conversation. Unfortunately, Ronnie Teich kept going. Two years ago, she also received a job offer for a data entry position with TTEC.

“I was accepted. I was tickled,” said Teich.

She received a check for $3,800 and instructions to transfer $3,600 to several individuals for office supplies.

“With the two Zelle payments and the two Moneygrams, $245 was left in my account, which I was told was for me,” Teich recalled.

But after she sent the money, the check bounced and her bank account was drained.

“I mean, I checked to make sure it was a real company, so I thought I was being cautious, but it just wasn’t real,” said Krupp.

Both women researched TTEC, a company known for providing remote work opportunities. However, they missed the warning on the company’s website alerting job seekers to impostors.

Krupp said she trusted the job posting at first because it was in a community Facebook page and she had mutual friends with the person who posted it, but she later learned their Facebook account had been hacked.

To avoid these work from home scams, go straight to the source. Contact the company directly to see if the opportunity is legitimate.

Never pay money to get paid.

And guard your personal information. An employer doesn’t need your driver’s license, social security number, or bank account information prior to your first day on the job.