A lot of Mainers look for a side hustle this time of year to cover the costs of heating oil, the holidays and other expenses that come up. The Better Business Bureau does have some warnings about email employment scams.

First off, always beware the word, "recruiter". Very often a legit business or government agency is attached to the application request. Just about every kind of company has been falsely represented in these ads, including the BBB!

Here's how it works and how to spot this scam:

  • You get an email or see an online ad from a recruiter. You apply and get a quick response, you may even get a job offer without an interview. Too good to be true, right? Right!
  • You get "hired" and have to pay upfront for your training, which may require your personal or banking info in order to run a credit check or set up direct deposit. Sheesh.
  • The "employer" may claim to have overpaid you with the fake check that they are going to send. That's when they ask you to wire back the difference to them. No legit employer is going to overpay you then have you wire the extra somewhere else.
  • You may be required to buy supplies or expensive equipment for this imaginary job. Never pay for training, certifications or directories.
  • The most popular employment scams are: work-from-home opportunities, secret shoppers, caregiver and customer service reps. Jobs that don't require training or certification appeal to a lot of people.
  • Don't fall for the overpayment scam.

I respect your hustle, but beware these scams while looking for jobs online!