FBI Portland
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November 2, 2021

Oregon FBI Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense Against Big Bucks Job Scams

Welcome to the Oregon FBI’s Tech Tuesday segment. Today: Building a digital defense against job scams that promise big money-making opportunities.

For many folks, the last 18 months of COVID isolation has only reinforced their desire to always work remotely—or to quit the traditional 9 to 5 altogether in lieu of an alternate work option. Unfortunately, fraudsters are looking at your new work style as a new avenue for making money themselves.

To that end, our partners at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have put out a new warning in an effort to stop companies from using phony or misleading claims to draw people in. Multi-level marketing companies, business opportunities, franchises, investment coaching companies, and “gig” companies are of high concern. Many are legitimate, but some are not.

The concern: that some companies will greatly overestimate your earning potential, causing you to lose significant time and money in the process. Here’s what companies CAN’T do:

  • Make false, misleading, or deceptive claims about your expected earnings.
  • Misrepresent that you don’t need the appropriate experience to earn income.
  • Misrepresent that you must act immediately.
  • Misrepresent that the opportunity is low risk or no risk.

Here’s how to protect yourself:

  • Do your research. Before starting a new “gig,” search for information about the company online. Find out how it pays its workers and any other conditions that come with the offer.
  • Be suspicious if someone claims you will be able to quit your day job, work from home, and live lavishly.
  • Avoid anyone using high-pressure sales tactics. The company should give you time to study the company and the opportunity. If pressured to “act now,” you might be better walking away.

If you are the victim of this kind of fraud, you can reach out to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov or you can also contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.