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Upper Savannah SC Works System Warns of Possible Job Opening Scams

The Upper Savannah SC Works System is warning job seekers about scams after a victim who was interviewed and trained online sent money for “work materials” that were never received.

The victim was contacted about a data entry specialist position through the SC Works Online Services (SCWOS) messaging system. “After reviewing your profile on SC Works, we believe you are qualified for this position,” the message read.

The victim, who is from the Upper Savannah region, had an interview via Yahoo Instant Messaging and went through one week of online training to supposedly evaluate work output.

After training was completed, the victim received two checks via FedEx supposedly for training pay and to purchase equipment needed to begin work, and was informed that the money would become available 24 hours after the checks were deposited.

“As soon as you receive the check, proceed to you (your) bank and deposit the check, and the funds will be made available after 24 hours of deposit. You are to get back to me online after the check has been deposited,” according to a message sent by the apparent company to the victim’s Yahoo e-mail.

The victim was asked to send money to a different location to pay for work materials such as a laptop, software and a desk to “enable you (to) work effectively from home,” according to the message.

The job turned out to be bogus and the fraudulent company was removed from the SCWOS system. However, job seekers who use SCWOS could still have a message from this company prior to the removal. Also, job seekers who do not use the SC Works System could still fall victim to this scam or other fraudulent offers through other employment listing outlets.

“Please be aware that scams are out there,” warns Upper Savannah Council of Governments (USCOG) Workforce Development Coordinator Sandra Johnson.

“If it’s too good to be true, it’s not true,” she said. “Legitimate employers do not ask you to send a check to work for them.”

When evaluating job listings, job seekers are encouraged to find out more about the company and job. What kind of contact information do they provide? Use search engines to research the company’s history. Search for scam lists. If they ask for money to work for them, beware.

Things that a job seeker should never do include allowing to be interviewed via instant messaging, depositing money and paying it back to the company, sending merchandise or checks out in the mail, spamming others with e-mail, calling a 900 number for information (you will end up paying for that call which is how that scammer makes the money), assembling crafts or other items (they will probably tell you that you have not met specifications and end up not paying you), or stuffing envelopes.

Unfortunately, with high unemployment, there is always a threat of an increase in unemployment scams. Keep your guard up. To report a possible scam, contact the Upper Savannah Council of Governments Workforce Development Department at 864.941.8050 or 1.800.922.7729, or call the Edgefield County SC Works Center at 803 637-7159.