Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Unemployed workers in Washington and the rest of the country are targets for crooks posing as headhunters, the Attorney General’s Office warned today. Scams include bogus job offers and realistic-looking e-mail messages that contain links to computer viruses or phishing sites.

Listen to Attorney General Rob McKenna discuss threats to unemployed workers and read today's consumer alert for a description of specific scams reported in our state.

Job seeker tips:

  • Avoid any job that requires you to pay money up front. And never send money by Western Union or Moneygram to someone you don’t know, even if you are sent a check. Fraudulent wire transfers are one of the most common scams.
  • Protect your personal information.
    • Use caution when posting your resume online and take advantage of tools that allow you to hide your contact information. Reputable career Web sites will provide you with the opportunity to communicate with potential employers via a confidential e-mail address, so that your real e-mail address remains private.
    • Never include your Social Security number, driver’s license or birth date on an online resume or share this information until you have confirmed that the employer and the job offer are genuine.
  • Don’t click on links sent in e-mails.
  • Check out potential employers with the Better Business Bureau and independently confirm the employer’s identity. It should be a red flag if an employer uses a common e-mail account like Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail or MSN instead of a corporate domain. Be suspicious, too, if the only provided phone number always goes to voicemail or if the only available contact address is a P.O. box.
  • Secure your computer. Ensure that your computer operating software and anti-virus and anti-spyware programs are updated to detect the latest threats and protect your system.
  • Steer clear of too-good-to-be-true offers that promise large paychecks for few hours of work.
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