Of all the scams doing the rounds, I think the government job offer is one of the most cruel scams around. People are receiving letters or emails telling them that they can now access the latest government jobs in their area by dialing the number given in the letter/email often after they have been searching for ages to find a government job that pays well, gives you security and is nearby.
When they ring the number listed they are put on hold and wait, and wait and wait…… until they give up. They often try again and again, only to discover that they are put on hold every single time. They probably curse the inefficiency of the government by now and decide to forget about working for the government.
The real shock comes when the telephone bill falls on the door mat. Instead of the usual amount, the telephone company now all of a sudden charges you for hundreds of euros/pounds/dollars for calls to premium phone lines. The initial reaction is that no premium lines have been called, but on further examination it turns out that the so called “government” number were in fact extremely expensive lines to ring. It is now obvious why people were put on hold for a long period of time. The longer they were on line, the higher the bill would be.
These scammers are often based in Eastern Europe and are often beyond the reach of western police forces. Or the police deem it too insignificant a crime to waste resources on. They are totally ignoring the fact that thousands of people are affected and that the losses can be millions of Euros/pounds/dollars.
Telephone companies could easily put a stop to this, but are very reluctant to do so because they earn a lot of money through these scams. They can earn a big percentage per call and earn millions as well on these scams. So they stay quiet or claim that there is nothing they can do. When it would affect their profitability they would act swiftly, so the only way to force them into action is a shareholder revolt, signing up with another telco or simply not falling for these scams anymore.
This is easier said then done as these scams become increasingly sophisticated, but before you are tempted to ring you could check the government’s website/jobboard, check if it is a normal number or ring your local government on a number from the phone directory.
Remember the old saying: “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is (too good to be true).”