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Beware: Signs of a Job Scam

You're looking for a job; scammers are looking for their next victim. Fake job scams can take many forms - watch out for these three signs:

* The job is guaranteed - if you pay a fee for certification, training materials, or expenses to place you with their company. After you pay, the job does not materialize.

* You're hired - and your first task is to cash a check and return a portion to your new employer. The check is fake and you are on the hook for the entire amount of the deposit.

* The emailed application requires your Social Security number - and your banking information. The scammers can now steal your money - and your identity.

Follow these dos and don'ts:

* Do be careful of generic or vague online job ads that say "No Experience Necessary" or "No Resume Necessary" but list a salary that seems too good to be true. Another warning sign: ads for "previously undisclosed" government positions.

* Don't send your resume right away. Send a generic inquiry first asking for more information about the company and the location.

* Do an online search or inquire through the Better Business Bureau to make sure the company is real and if there are any complaints.

* Don't ever pay money, and do not provide a credit card or bank account information.

* Do check out the business website to make sure the opening is posted there.

How to report a job scam:
If you've been targeted by a job scam, contact the State Attorney General's Office, and file a complaint with the FTC

This is a message from AARP Washington and the Washington State Attorney General's Office. If you or someone you know has been a victim of identity theft or fraud, you can contact the AARP Foundation Fraud Fighter Center at 1-800-646-2283 for help.

Also be sure to share this alert with your family and friends so they know how to spot the common strategies scammers use and have the tools they need to defend themselves against their tricks.

P.S. Spotted a scam? Tell us about it. Our scam-tracking map gives you information about the latest scams targeting people in your state. You'll also find first-hand accounts from scam-spotters who are sharing their experiences so you know how to protect yourself and your family.

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