CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office is warning consumers to exercise caution when looking for employment opportunities to pay off those holiday purchases.

“The post-holiday season can be a time when consumers try to recoup expenses incurred,” Morrisey said in a press release. “That often means looking for additional employment, but those interested must proceed with caution. Do your research, check the Internet and call our office with any questions.”

The AG's office says consumers should be particularly cautious of work-at-home positions. Such opportunities may promise flexibility and extra income, but may sometimes result in nothing more than lost time and money.

Additional tips include:

* Use extra caution when looking at job ads with generic titles, such as administrative assistant or customer service representative.

* Check the business’ website to make sure the opening is posted there. If you’re still not sure, call the business to check on the position.

* Use caution when ads urge you to immediately apply and use phrases such as “Teleworking OK,” “Immediate Start” and “No Experience Needed.”

* Do Internet searches for the position. If the same job posting appears in several cities, it may be a scam.

* Be very cautious of any job that asks you to share personal information or hand over money. Scammers often use the guise of running a credit check, setting up a direct deposit or training costs to convince you to part with your cash.

Those who believe they might have been the victim of a fraudulent job posting or wish to report a suspicious listing are asked to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808 or visit www.wvago.gov.

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