Beware of scammers targeting job applicants

Scammers use a local business name to steal money and opportunities.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Job openings are plentiful, and many people are looking for seasonal vacation positions right now.

Schemers know that job seekers will do almost anything to get a job, but if a potential employer asks for an item, don’t go ahead with your application.

Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages is hiring.

Scammers know this and impersonate the company leaving you unemployed with an empty wallet.

“You expose yourself when you’re looking for a job,” said Jason Meza, regional director for the San Antonio-area Better Business Bureau. “You probably have a public profile and are open to receiving requests and requests from recruiters, so you already open the door for people to receive text messages and emails from potentially fraudulent recruiters or hiring managers.”

That’s what happened to some job seekers in San Antonio. Some received a text message saying they would be guaranteed a job at Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages if they paid a $120 training fee.

“Many times we uncover a scheme where someone was asked for money of some kind for a background check or for administrative expenses or just to cover something like buying materials up front,” Meza said. “A legitimate job won’t require you to do that.”

There are no guaranteed jobs or training fees at Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages. The company wants you to apply, but asks you to apply in a specific way.

“Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages employs more than 750 people in the San Antonio area. We are currently hiring for a variety of roles in the field with competitive salaries, benefits and incentives,” a statement said.

“We are disappointed to learn that employers take advantage of potential candidates by charging them a fee for a ‘guaranteed job’ at CCSWB. The only way to be considered for a job with us is to apply online at www.opportunityfizzes.com.

Us are hiring, so we encourage people to apply now!”

The Better Business Bureau said reports of labor schemes nearly tripled this year between March and June and historical data indicates that the season of labor fraud is not over yet.

“They know the company is hiring at some level. A schemer has done his homework before reaching out to you,” Meza said. “So it’s imperative that a job seeker doesn’t take the first bait, that they actually verify that a real job exists and that they’re talking to the real person.”

You and your wallet will be glad you did.

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