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Gadsden woman warns others about job scam

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 10:51 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 5:40 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A Gadsden woman said she almost fell victim to a job scam Monday morning but was glad she recognized the warning signs.

Her family on hard times, Beth Patterson, was looking for work and thought she had found the perfect job on Facebook.

“It said data entry, $20 an hour,” Patterson recalled.

It was a work-from-home job which Patterson said was perfect for her situation. She quickly applied and got a message that she was selected for an interview.

“It was on Google Chat,” she explained.

The interviewer, through text message, claimed to represent the major media company, Comcast.

Patterson said alarm bells didn’t go off at first because she’d been out of the workforce for a few years and thought this was a new way of doing things.

However, at the end of the conversation, Patterson said the questions became invasive.

“Why would they want to know if I had credit cards,” she questioned.

Tara Hutchinson with the Alabama Department of Labor said schemes like this are becoming more frequent.

“Most job offers are not coming in via text. They’re not coming in via Google chat, they’re not coming in via Facebook Messenger,” Hutchison advised.

Hutchison said to always consider the source of the job posting you find online, especially on social media.

She said to make sure the posting is coming from a verified, company account.

“Call that company and ask them: Are you hiring for this position? Is someone name whatever, are they affiliated with your company,” she said.

Hutchinson added that most companies will want to connect with you via voice conversations or video.

You also want to look out for grammatical errors, which the text messages to Patterson did have.

Patterson said she didn’t give out any of her information and flat out said, “I think this is a scam. And then they blocked me on Google Chat.”

She went back to the place it all started to warn others.

“Because I didn’t want it to happen to someone else,” Patterson said.

Patterson said she reached out to the person who posted the job on Facebook, and that person blocked her as well.

WBRC is in contact with Comcast. A spokesperson emailed this response to us Wednesday:

I’ve checked with our HR and security teams and this is a scam. This type of scammer typically conducts an interview that leads to questions about payroll and requesting the victims banking information for “direct deposit”, ultimately emptying the victims bank funds. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

Consumers who are concerned that they may be the victim of a scam can visit https://internetsecurity.xfinity.com/help/report-abuse for helpful information including a list of recent security alerts on scams targeting Comcast and its customers. Customers can also call 1-888-565-4329.

Comcast has established policies and procedures in place that include steps our agents can take to help detect the fraudulent activity.

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