Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Scam targets college students looking for work, BBB warns - LEX18 Lexington KY News

Scam targets college students looking for work, BBB warns - LEX18 Lexington KY News


Scam targets college students looking for work, BBB warns - LEX18 Lexington KY News

Posted: 30 Sep 2019 10:36 AM PDT

It's back-to-school season and there's already a new scam targeting college students, the Better Business Bureau warns.

According to the BBB, the agency has been has received reports of scammers posing as professors and university departments in an attempt to con college students looking for work.

Here's how the scam works.

Students receive a message to their school email asking them to apply for a job opportunity. The email looks like it comes from a school's job placement office, a student services department or even a specific professor. The job being pitched is usually something flexible, easy and appealing to a college student, like pet sitting or secret shopping.

But the opportunity will take a weird turn, the BBB says. The alleged employer will hire you without an interview. Then, a check will be sent with instructions to deposit the money before doing any work. The scammer will instruct "employees" to use the money to buy gift cards, money orders, prepaid debit cards or other things needed for the job. The scammer will tell unsuspecting students that the rest of the money is their payment for the job.

"However, the check is a fake — a detail your bank will let you know a day or two after you deposit it," the BBB says in a news release. "Any money you sent to your 'employer' is gone for good."

The BBB offers the following tips so you don't fall victim to employment scams like this one.

  • Do your research. Before you say yes to any job, research the company that wants to hire you. Does the company have a professional website and legitimate contact information? Search for what others saying about their experience with this company.
  • Beware of red flags. Scammers often send emails with many typos and grammatical errors. They offer to hire you without an interview and even pay you before you've done any work. None of these are behaviors of a reputable business.
  • Never send money to strangers. Never send funds in the form of cash, checks, gift cards or wire transfers to someone you don't know or haven't met. No legitimate company will ask you to pay them to get a job.

Ample jobs in Lincoln County, but most are entry level for low pay - Ruidoso News

Posted: 01 Oct 2019 10:32 AM PDT

Lincoln County, with its heavy emphasis on tourism and service-related industries while offering a haven for high-dollar second-home owners, presents a unique employment picture in the state, said John Hemphill, director of New Mexico Workforce Connection in Ruidoso.

Plenty of jobs are available, but most are low-paying at the same time housing costs are high, he said.

Lincoln County in August posted a 4.4 percent unemployment rate, better than the seasonally adjusted 4.9 percent for the state.

Stacy Johnson with the Economic Research and Analysis Bureau of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions reported that  preliminary figures for Lincoln County in August showed a labor force of 9,386 with 412 not working for a rate of 4.4 percent.

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Those numbers compare favorably to revised results for July of a 9,457-person labor force with 481 out of work and a rate of 5.1 percent. The revised figures for August 2018 are 9,089 in the workforce, with 385 not working for a 4.2 percent unemployment rate.

"There  are a lot of jobs available, but most of them are low paying," Hemphill said Monday. "If somebody wants a job, there are plenty of jobs out there, most are in the service industry such as restaurants, hotels, fast food."

Some applicants expect too much for their training and qualifications at the same time there are too few medium and high paying jobs to go around, he said. The higher paying jobs usually require very specific qualifications, college degrees and experience, and often the hiring occurs from recruitment contact between applicant and employer..

"Come in and visit with one of our career counselors and we can identify what is the best fit for them," Hemphill said. "We will let those individuals know what jobs are currently available in the community and we will be happy to work with them."

Situation unique

"I think we are unique in Lincoln County, because of the service industry (predominance)," Hemphill said. "You can go down to Carlsbad or Hobbs, and the oil fields are hiring left to right and paying very high wages. 

"The starting job at McDonald's in Carlsbad is $15 an hour. Even fast food and  service industries in those other counties are paying very well."

On the other hand, both areas lack affordable housing, he said.

Most of the positions available in Lincoln County are entry level, which means they are lower paying, he said. Others require some type of degree or training.

Entry level does not necessarily equate to recent high school graduates, he said, adding, "There is a full range of ages applying."

"The school districts are begging for teachers, but that requires a bachelor's degree minimum and passing the education test," Hemphill said.

Most online

Years ago, all paperwork was handled at the office, Hemphill said. Today, he never sees many of the applicants for unemployment or seeking jobs.

"A lot of those filing for unemployment and looking for work don't come into the office," he said. "They work online.They have access to the universal system.They can log-in as long as they have web access, and file for unemployment or use job search online."

All the unemployment insurance is handled out of a call center in Albuquerque, he said.

"We help people facilitate filing online here or they can use one of our phones to file or to do their weekly certification (to qualify for continuing coverage)," Hemphill said. "They can use our resources at our office to do that.

"We see between 80 to 100 people a month (physically at the office)."

The office is inside the Eastern New Mexico University- Ruidoso campus in the Sierra Mall parking lot complex on Mechem Drive in Ruidoso. The office can be contacted through the community college at 575-257-2120.

Sector numbers

In Johnson's monthly report, the state analyst reported that preliminary numbers showed that retail trade employed 89,400 in August compared to 89,200 revised in July and 91,500 revised in August 2018, for an annual change of minus 2.3 percent and a drop of 2 percent.

More: Tourism budget increase is a long-term investment for Ruidoso

Construction in New mexico employed 50,400 in August, 51,200 revised for July, and 47,100 in August 2018 for an annual change of 3,3 percent and a 7 percent increase.

More: Job hunting? Growth in New Mexico outpaces the nation

More: Working from home: Grants aimed at home-based businesses and job creation

Leisure and hospitality statewide employed 105,000 in August, 107,300 revised for July and 101,000 revised for August 2018, for an annual change of 4 percent and a 4 percent increase.

New Mexico's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in August 2019, unchanged from July 2019 and up from 4.8 percent in the previous year. The national unemployment rate in August was 3.7 percent, unchanged from July 2019 and down from 3.8 percent in August 2018.

Reporter Dianne Stallings can be contacted at dstallings@ruidosonews.com.

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