Job scams rank number one

Unemployment is down, but the scams that lure folks into would-be jobs are up. Way up, according to the BBB. This scam has become such good work for the bad guys that it's risen from the third most prevalent scam to top of the list.

Here's how it starts. There's an offer of high pay, flexible hours, and to work remotely. Who doesn't want that job?!  According to the Better Business Bureau, most of us do. But it's the younger set - 18 to 24 - who are the most susceptible. But folks who fall for it who are 65 and over, lose the most money. So it impacts everybody.

The BBB caught this trend in its real-time Scam Tracker. You can see where people are reporting scams. It shows the day, the type, the zip code and the amount of money lost. Go in closer to specific cities and see what's hot in your area.

So how can you tell if it's a rip off? Well, here are three more things to look for. Remember, we already talked about being on alert to high pay offers and perks that are too good to be true.

1. They contact you  
2. Unprofessional emails. The job descriptions are vague. There are spelling errors and grammar mistakes.
3. Bad contact information. No phone number. Or, you're asked to respond to a personal email not a business email.

Still not convinced? You have the world at your fingertips. Do some internet searching. Look for a picture of the address. They frequently belong to another legit business. Track down its website: DOMAIN NAME SEARCH. There probably isn't one, and if there is, it's likely pretty new.

And finally, this is how they get your money. Traditionally, they will pay you with a cashier's check for more than you're owed. Then, they'll ask you to send some of it back. By the time the bank says, 'Wait a minute,' you've sent a thousand bucks. And that's gone.And so are the bad guys.