COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

A recent study by the Better Business Bureau shows employment scams have been on the rise throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020 BBB estimated 14 million scam victims with $2 billion in direct losses related to job scams. Losses reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center linked to employment scams increased by 27% from 2018 to 2020.

The 2020 report on job scams from the BBB found that people 25-34 years old were the most likely to fall victim to employment scams.

BBB is warning people searching for jobs to verify employment offers to avoid identity theft, fake checks, and illegal jobs.

Identity theft is one common outcome of job scams. Scammers tend to steal people’s personal information to open up bank accounts to prolong the fraud. BBB found 34% of victims gave their driver’s license number to scammers and 25% gave their social security number to scammers.

Fake checks are another way people fall victim to employment scams. The BBB study finds that 36% of job complaints to BBB involve a fake check. At the same time, job complaints made to the Federal Trade Commission increased by 65% between 2015 and 2020.

Employment scams can be used for other purposes as well. Scammers will use victims as money mules to mail fake checks or participate in reshipping scams.

Many recent reports show victims getting scammed looking for jobs that allowed them to work from home. At the end of October one person who…

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