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Job hunters in NH warned about possible scammers

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 13. 2014 8:37PM

CONCORD — Scammers are posing as legitimate companies to get confidential information from people seeking jobs through the online New Hampshire Job Match System, state officials said.

Job seekers post resumes on the system run by New Hampshire Employment Security that’s designed to connect legitimate employers with job seekers.

NHES Deputy Commissioner Richard Lavers said: “What we’re finding is, these individuals are using the names of real companies.”

He said they provide names of supposed employees and other information in an effort to appear to be the real company.

Lavers said: “It’s been a handful (of reports), but one is too many.”

He said some job seekers became suspicious and contacted his department and action has been taken.

Referring to the scammers, Lavers said: “They like to move fast.” As a result, he said, the department has gone back 45 days to check, and recheck registered companies, to make sure they are the real thing, not scammers. Each company that’s registered for the online system has been contacted individually and has been verified, said Lavers.He said the scammers were able to access the Job Match System to get some identifying information, but not Social Security numbers. “Nobody has provided their bank routing and account numbers.” Senior Assistant Attorney General James T. Boffetti said the same type of scam was done about four years ago and what the scammers would do is get into the system, contact people and begin “the grooming process.” As part of the phony job application process, Boffetti said, the scammers may suggest a “job exercise” that involves depositing a check and then sending proceeds to another location.

In the previous scam, the proceeds were wired to a location in this country, but ended up in Nigeria. Sometimes the “middle man” has been hired through craigslist to do some processing and doesn’t know he or she is part of a scam, said Boffetti.

Lavers said: “Unfortunately, they are preying on folks who are already in a difficult situation.”

New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster and Employment Security Commissioner George Copadis said an investigation has been opened into the potential employment scam, but also issued a set of tips for job seekers, to help them protect against scams and scammers.

Among the tips:

• Don’t open unsolicited emails or attachments if they are not from a familiar or trusted source, contain suspicious subject lines or no subject line at all, even from a recognized sender.

• Beware of emails that link to a website that lacks details about who is running the company, where it is based, or does not have a phone number.• Never provide personal information such as Social Security number or date of birth.• Never provide any banking information without verifying the person with whom you are communicating.

• Never wire funds to strangers and make sure you know the person very well before sending money to them through a wire service like Western Union or MoneyGram.

• Call or check with your local NH Works office if anyone claims to be “partnering” with or “affiliated” with the New Hampshire Job Match System.

• If the offer appears to be “too good to be true,” it probably is.

If anyone, including job seekers or employers, has concerns about suspicious activity or needs additional information, contact the Consumer Protection Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-888-468-4454 or New Hampshire Employment Security Deputy Commissioner Richard Lavers at 228-4065.

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