ST. MARTINVILLE — With the pandemic slowly coming to and end, more and more people are beginning to reenter into the workforce and on the hunt for a new job, but they are often faced with dangerous scams while searching.
According to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, more than 16,000 people say they fell for an employment scam in 2020. St. Martin Parish Sheriff, Becket Breaux, believes that scammers are taking advantage of those people looking for jobs after the pandemic.
"They want to go back to work, and the first place they are looking for one is online," he says. "It's disappointing that our people, our citizens of Louisiana, have to put up with these scams and give their hard-earned money to someone who is sitting down at a computer just taking advantage of them."
One woman from St. Martin Parish says that she was scammed on three separate occasions while searching for a job. Fortunately, she was able to notice that something wasn't right before becoming a victim.
"When they start getting into more personal information like your social security number, your address and your bank account information, that should draw up a red flag," says Sheriff Breaux.
He says that kind of personal information should be disclosed in person, or during an authorized background check, once the job has been offered and accepted.
While most people are turning to finding jobs online, Sheriff Breaux says the best way to confirm if a listing is real or not is to do a little research.
"If you do apply for a job online, contact that company and speak with their human resources department and let them know that your submitting an application and you want to make sure it gets to the right person," he says. "Do your homework on that company because a little bit of extra work will save you a lot of headaches in the long run."
While searching for jobs online and networking, Sheriff Breaux encourages you to be careful with what information you share. If you believe that you are being scammed, or have been scammed, he encourages you to call your local police department.
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