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Valley woman questions job offer asking her to pay for computer software

Valley woman questions job offer asking her to pay for computer software

By Loni Blandford. CREATED Aug 16, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- You're hired! They're the magic words so many Las Vegans are waiting to hear. So when one Valley woman got a job she was eager to get started. But what the employer was asking her to do made her question whether it was legit. So, she contacted Action News.

"I thought -- oh my god I have a job I'm not going to have to worry about money anymore," said Pam Hoots.

Pam is a wiz on the computer which is why she's worked in clerical jobs most of her life. But being unemployed, she hasn't been able to put those skills to use. So when she saw an ad online for an administrative assistant job, she emailed her resume.

"The very next day I got a reply," said Pam.

Pam says the woman who emailed her wanted to do an interview via Yahoo Instant Messenger. So Pam signed on. She says the interviewer told her the company was based in Dallas, Texas and was planning to open a Las Vegas office soon. After a couple of questions and a brief wait she got the good news.

"She comes back online and says great news you're hired," explained Pam.

Pam was ecstatic. The job would require her to work at home so Pam says they were going to send her a laptop. Before they could, Pam needed to do something first.

"She says that I have to pay $360 for the software that needs to be loaded on the laptop," explained Pam.

That's when Pam became suspicious. She told the woman she didn't have the money right away. Then the woman asked Pam how much did she have. Pam told her she wanted to do more research because there are a lot of scams out there.

"She got angry. She said I'm a mother of two young children how can you accuse me of scamming you like this," said Pam.

That anger, Rhonda Mettler from the Better Business Bureau says, is a sign of a questionable offer.

"A possible employer is not going to become hostile unless of course you caught them," explained Rhonda.

And that $360 software fee? Mettler says that should have you looking for another job.

"If they're asking you to pay for something in advance, don't do it," said Rhonda.

Pam stopped all communication with that company and hopes others can learn from her experience.

"I know there's a lot of people who are looking for jobs right now and maybe somebody won't think as hard as I did," said Pam.

The email Pam got came from a Yahoo address. When it's not coming from a company email database the BBB says be wary. They also advise people to Google the company name with the word scam or rip off. That might give you some insight into whether it's legit.