Applying for Your First Summer Job?  Beware of Common Scams

(Radio Iowa) With school letting out soon, thousands of teenagers are starting to apply for their first-ever summer jobs and they may need to be aware of some common scams. Consumer advocate Michael Domke says one con that’s been making the rounds is to have a new employee cash a check and then pay back some of the money.

“To take that money and pay a vendor who they need for training or IT resources,” Domke says, “and in essence, that check was fake and then they’re taking out of their own account.” Teens of various ages are only allowed to work a certain number of hours per week, so new workers will need to know those rules and make sure they’re not being asked to work too much. Mystery shopping might sound like an ideal job for some teens, but Domke says you need to do a little research first.

“In reality, very, very few of those mystery shopping jobs are legitimate,” he says, “and how the scam works there is they get you to pay upfront, whether it be $20 or $40, and that is kind of your enlistment fee.” Domke says no legitimate job will require you to pay to sign up or to apply for a position.