BBB: Scammers use legitimate companies to target job seekers

Looking for a job? The Better Business Bureau warns about a work-from-home employment scam that it says has claimed victims across North America.

"An investigation by BBB Serving the Atlantic Provinces reveals that scammers have hi-jacked the names of legitimate companies in Nova Scotia, Canada. However, most of the job-seekers targeted by the scammers have been from the United States," the BBB says.

One man reported his mother lost $4,500 in the scam after following "employer's" instructions to deposit fraudulent checks and transfer funds to a different account.

"This is a typical tactic used in employment scams," the BBB says.

The BBB says it was alerted of the scam when two legitimate construction companies in Nova Scotia, Canada -- Partners Construction, and Brooks Levy Construction, Ltd. -- all of a sudden began receiving more than 1,000 inquires on their business profiles through the BBB. This raised a red flag that the fake job postings are widespread.

The BBB says its office also received calls and emails from across North America, asking about the legitimacy of the companies and the posted jobs.

"Neither company is currently looking for new employees," the BBB says.

The BBB posted an alert on the construction companies' business profiles, explaining that their names are being used maliciously.

The BBB says its Scam Tracker has received more than 1,300 reports of various work-from-home employment scams.

"It is possible that scammers use the names of legitimate companies to avoid being detected as fraudulent," the BBB says.

The BBB encourages anyone applying for a job via an online posting to use caution and to be wary of warning signs of an employment scam. Tips from the BBB are available here .

If you or someone you know has applied for a position under fraudulent circumstances, you are urged to report it to BBB SCAMTRACKER , even if you haven't lost money.