Avoid Getting Scammed While Seeking Employment

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," March 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: This is just evil. You're out of a job, right? Get a load of this: Scammers are out to get you, luring folks with these phony job ads, cheating them out of thousands of dollars or more.

So how can you avoid getting hosed while you're in the job hunt? Security expert Robert Siciliano here with some tips.

Robert, I can't believe this is going on, but it's almost too easy for them. What do they do?

ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO, IDTHEFTSECURITY.COM: Well, it is a great time to be a snake-oil salesman. And the bottom-feeders are out in full force, and they're hungry and they're winning at this point. They are.

CAVUTO: All right. Well, let's go into the red signs — red flags that should immediately get our ire up? If they ask — ever send you money, some of them actually send you money?

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SICILIANO: That's called "affinity fraud." They actually send you a check that you are supposed to cash and then send they them back money. That might happen if you are a mystery shopper, let's say. And that check they send you eventually bounces, and you — but you send them real money. So never, ever send anyone any money whatsoever for any reason.

CAVUTO: All right. Now, if they try to do something where they ask you to pay in any way, either up front or later on, there's something not right about that, right?

SICILIANO: Have you ever had to pay for a job? See, the reality of it is when they ask you to pay for a list or they ask you to pay for a kit or to apply for something, that's always a scam. You never, ever pay for a job.

CAVUTO: That's a good point. They all have this thing, though, where it says you can work at home. Aren't a lot of these now work at home?

SICILIANO: You know, if you look at all of these different jobs, work-at-home jobs, either in classified ads, in the local newspaper or online, studies show that as many as 98 percent of them are fraudulent. If it says "work at home," chances are it's a scam.

CAVUTO: OK. Step back for a moment and if they're saying now, look, we need some more information from you, your Social Security number, or we need a bank account number, bells should be going off, right?

SICILIANO: Yes, absolutely. You know, especially virtually. If they're asking you over the phone or online to plug in your bank account information, your Social Security number, credit card information, you have to know right there and then somebody is trying to fleece you.

This day and age people are desperate. You know, they're looking to put food on the table. Just know that somebody somewhere along the line is going to come after you, especially if you're unemployed, they're looking for you. Do not give out personal identifying information for any reason whatsoever.

CAVUTO: Man, oh, man. Robert, there has got to be an especially hot place in hell for this type of scammer, you know?

SICILIANO: There is, yes.

CAVUTO: All right. Robert, thank you very, very much. Be warned.

SICILIANO: Thank you, Neil.

CAVUTO: Folks, please, be warned.

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