BBB warns of Amazon job scam

August 28, 2018

The Connecticut Better Business Bureau is warning state residents of a scam that asks victims to pay hundreds of dollars to get a job that sounds too good to be true — and is too good to be true.

This new twist on an employment scam is fooling victims into shelling out big bucks for a job at online retailer Amazon that doesn’t exist. Reports to BBB Scam Tracker about this con have increased steadily this summer, including a few people from Connecticut.

Victims first receive a voicemail message telling them that Amazon is hiring dozens of people to list products online, post reviews and do other website work. The position pays well — targets report they were told the pay was anything from $20/hour to $6,000/month — and victims are told they can work from home. Scammers use the names Amazon Cash Website(s), StockRetail.com and WebStoreJobs.com.

However, there is a catch to this “dream job.” According to BBB Scam Tracker reports, new employees have to purchase a $200 “enrollment kit” before they can start work. When marks pay up, the scammer will vanish and the job never materializes.

The BBB has tips to avoid getting taken. First, be cautious of any job that asks for personal information or money before the position even starts. Scammers will often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up direct deposit, paying for training, or paying for expensive equipment and supplies to use while working from home.

Be careful of a company promises great opportunities or high income as long as you pay for coaching, training, certifications or directories.

Also, the BBB advises checking the business web site. Scammers frequently post jobs using the names of real companies, such as Amazon, to lend legitimacy to their cons. Check on the business web site for the position and/or call to confirm.

Work-from-home and secret shopper positions or any job with a generic title such as caregiver, administrative assistant, or customer service rep are always more likely to be scams. Positions that don’t require special training or licensing appeal to a wide range of applicants making the scam easier to implement.

Another red flag is a quick response from the “hiring manager,” often with a job offer and no interview. A legitimate recruiter will provide you with a complete contract for the position without cost to you.

For more about scams, go to BBB Scam Tips (BBB.org/ScamTips). To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/ScamTracker).

Update hourly