WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Better Business Bureau Serving Northwest North Carolina issued a warning to job seekers: be wary of a current work-from-home employment scam. 

BBB expects discovered an employment scam after several potential victims, mostly out-of-state, contacted the office to look into job offers they had recently received. Those offers, they say, came from a source claiming to be "Carpenter and Company," an antique automobile parts and supply company out of Winston-Salem. While there was at one time a company of that name in Clemmons, it is no longer a business. 

At the time of the BBB's news release, the potential victims had all been contacted by the scammers directly via email after having uploaded their resumes onto a national job posting website. Experts say none of the victims were asked by the suspect source to interview, and each were offered a "very well paying" work-from-home position. 

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Part of the scheme involved the victims filling out I-9 forms to verify citizenship, as well as a background check release - both of which would necessitate sharing highly confidential information, according to the BBB. Experts warn sharing this information greatly increases the risk of identity theft. 

BBB experts say, to avoid potential identity theft and other issues, job seeks should remember these tips:

  • Be wary of unsolicited offers. Hiring companies are rarely the first to make contact.
  • Check the specifics. If contact information is missing or differs, or if you are never able to directly contact a representative of the company, there is cause for concern.
  • Protect your information. Trustworthy companies rarely ask for personal information to be shared over the phone or via email. If you must share information remotely, you should have the option of doing so via a secure, encrypted website.
  • Be realistic about the search. Highly-paid, unskilled, work-from-home positions are rare. Communications offering such are likely fraudulent. Also, interviews are an important part of the hiring process, and reputable companies will not skip this step.
  • When in doubt, contact the BBB. Taking a few minutes to verify the validity of the potential employer information can save a great deal of trouble in the long run. 

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