JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Amber Chitwood was looking a child care job and saw a listing on care.com; it was a scam.
"They told me the job was babysitting a disabled child," said Chitwood.
The emails were convincing and sent her a check as a sign that she had the job.
"The $2,900 check was to buy a wheelchair for the disabled child," said Chitwood.
The check turned out to be a counterfeit and Chitwood was left owing her back for the amount.
"That is a lot of money," she said.
It is difficult to avoid the internet if you're looking for a job. Manuel Cano is filling out yet another job application on the internet.
"The market for me has been kind of rough," said Cano.
Cano, who has been unemployed since March 2011, is suspicious of everyone due to online job scams.
"It is kind of tough," he said. "I stay away from people who try to charge you. That is not right.'
Employment experts say the high unemployment rate is leaving people more vulnerable to scams
"Scammers are always going to be with us and think they're opportunistic," said Candace Moody.
Moody is with WorkSource; they have heard the complaints.
"We have been hearing a lot about job scams," said Moody, "and this population that is so desperate for work is really easy picking for them."
Whether applying on Craigslist or an employment site, Moody said to look for the signs.
"If the email has a lot of awkward language, bad grammar, misspelling, that is a red flag," said Moody.
She also said employers will not ask a job applicant for money up front to get a job.
"What we hope to do is educate job seekers so that they get smarter and smarter," said Moody, "It is always going to be the good guys one step ahead of the bad guys."
FIVE THINGS YOU MUST DO TO AVOID ONLINE JOB SCAMS:
1) Check the salary of the job. If the money offered is too good to be true, it probably is.
2) If the recruiter asks for personal information like your date of birth or Social Security number before talking to you about the job, it may be a scam.
3) If the recruiter offers you special access to a government job for a price, it is a scam.
4) Look for the specifics about the job. If the posting is vague in regards to its location or duties, it may be a scam.
5) Do your research. Contact the Better Business Bureau. Paste the exact text of the email into a search engine to see if there are warnings from others who have received the same email.
First Coast News