Editor's note: This article is part of the initiative Everybody Works on Monday, a series about employment and recruitment in Aiken County.
Residents should be wary of scammers posting fake job opportunities.
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs is advising job seekers to be cautious in their search as scammers will pose as hiring managers, offering unsuspecting consumers fictitious jobs, according to a release.
An example of one scam reported to SCDCA’s Identity Theft Unit, a consumer was asked to purchase computer equipment using her own bank account. The scammers requested her bank account number, saying they would direct deposit the funds for the equipment into her account, but the consumer ultimately lost over $4,000, the release states.
Capt. Eric Abdullah, with Aiken County Sheriff's Office, said scammers "will do anything" to separate people from their money.
"The scammers are always coming up with new schemes," he said. "If things seem suspicious or too good to be true – it probably is."
Residents wanting to find safe jobs can visit Aiken Personnel Services, 560 Jefferson Davis Highway, a local agency connecting employers to job-seekers.
"Working with a trusted local hiring agency is always the safest bet for finding a job instead of becoming a victim of fraud," said Dexter Price, owner of APS. "At Aiken Personnel Services, we never ask for payment for services or certifications, other than WorkKey testing when required by the employer. We refund the fees for WorkKeys tested upon successful completion of the assessments and placement into a position."
Price said Aiken Personnel Services works diligently to ensure the validity of any listed positions.
"We work with trusted local companies to find positions and meet with our applicants in person before they are sent to interview with any company," Price said. "We care about the safety of our applicants as well as finding them a job matching their qualifications."
Applicants can stop at the APS offices at any given time to check on the status of their applications or for additional training/coaching opportunities, he said.
There are available jobs posted on the APS website at apsjobs.us.
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs offers some tips for anyone who may be job hunting and wants to steer clear of fake job postings, or scams:
• Requests for financial account numbers. Consumers should avoid providing financial information for a potential job. Employers don’t ask for sensitive payroll information until the employee is actually hired.
• Payment of fees. Legitimate employers don’t ask prospective hires to pay up front for certifications, training or background checks in exchange for a job.
• Requests to deposit a check. Scammers may ask a consumer to deposit a fake check and return part of the money using a wire transfer service. If the check is bad, the consumer is responsible for replacing the money.
• Something seems “off” about the job or company. Do some research. Look up the company and contact them directly to verify the posting. Avoid using the contact information provided in the job posting since the individual may be impersonating the company.
Scam reporting is an important step in helping SCDCA empower consumers to recognize and avoid scams. For more information on reporting and avoiding scams call 844-TELL DCA (835-5322) or visit www.consumer.sc.gov, then click Report a Scam.
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs aims to protect consumers from inequities in the marketplace through advocacy, complaint mediation, enforcement and education.EverybodyWorksMonday:Residentswarnedwatchfakepostings