With many businesses permitting its employees to work from home, and others required to by shelter-in-place orders, consumers are now more than ever at risk of being targeted by scammers.
For example, consumers transitioning from an office setting to their home may find themselves vulnerable to tech support scams.
Another concern for employees transitioning to a work-from-home environment is business email compromise scams. BEC scams impersonate emails from your boss or employer, and while these fraudulent emails are often used to request large payments to “vendors” via wire transfer, scammers may change their approach.
Additionally, consumers who recently lost their job may find opportunities advertised as “work from home.” These consumers are especially vulnerable to employment scams, which has been ranked the top riskiest scam in both the 2018 and 2019 Scam Tracker Risk Report.
Another job commonly advertised for employment scams involves a consumer receiving an item, repackaging it and shipping the item with the promise of being reimbursed as well as being paid.
While working from home and watching to see how the situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak develops, use these tips from Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas to avoid falling victim to scams:
Be aware of unusual procedures. Job offers without interviews are a red flag of employment scams, as well as employers that overpay you and ask you to wire back the difference. You should watch out for companies that promise opportunities or high income if you pay them for training.
Check official job postings. Scammers often use emails, social media or online job boards to reach targets. If a job posting seems too good to be true, go to the company’s or employer’s website and check their career page directly. If a website is charging you for information about a job opening, it is probably a scam.
Set up work-from-home IT policies. If your employees are moving to home offices, establish a plan to help them with technical problems they may face. Instruct them on who they should contact, and who to avoid, for tech support. A plan can protect your employees from having their personal and professional information compromised.
Maintain office billing policies at home. One of the best ways to combat business email compromise scams is to set a policy requiring employees to confirm payment requests in person or over the phone, rather than over email. If the employees that handle billing are working from home, have them maintain these policies by calling to confirm any payment requests made by email.
Review safety practices with employees. As your employees are working from home, remind them of the best practices to avoid scams. Practices such as avoiding clicking on pop-ups or links in unsolicited emails. Make sure they know tech support professionals would never call them unless they had requested assistance first.
For more, visit bbb.org.