Flathead job placement professional warns of COVID-19 job scams

Flathead job placement professional warns of COVID-19 job scams
Posted at 2:41 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 16:41:58-04

Officials say scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and posting fake job postings as many people continue to struggle with unemployment.

Kalispell Job Service manager Laura Gardner says the Department of Labor is reminding people they need to be vigilant. She explained that job scammers are taking advantage of people during the coronavirus outbreak.

"They've definitely seen an uptick in people trying to get personal information from folks," said Gardner. "Scammers that are trying to pose as somebody that they're not."

Gardner stressed to MTN News that while people are looking for jobs the most important thing is to protect personal information.

"If you're clicking on a link and you think you're in a legitimate place and then they're asking for things like your social security, your birth date, credit card information, your bank account. You may have just given all of your stuff over to a scammer," she said. "So, you just need to be really careful about not giving any of that information out."

Gardner is also emphasizing to be careful of text scams if you have a cell phone. She says that some scammers are sending out texts claiming there are job openings. She says people seeking employment should make sure the websites being using are legitimate. She suggests looking for websites ending in .gov or .org.

"If you just google Montana unemployment insurance, you can come up with anything,” Gardner explained. “And you may think oh it's normal for unemployment to want my social security number. But if you're not at that dot gov website you may have just given your information over to a potential scammer.”

Gardner recommends people use , the website job service Kalispell uses for their clients.

Some additional advice includes:

  • Beware of text scams coming from an unknown number claiming there are job openings
  • Never give out personal information like your social security or bank account number over email or phone
  • Never apply for a job that is emailed to you out of the blue