Are these ads for Amazon warehouse workers in Pasco, WA real?

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Amazon coming to Tri-Cities

The addition of two massive distribution warehouses in east Pasco will bring new jobs and new challenges.

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Tri-Cities job seekers are running into frustration with misleading listings claiming to be for the Amazon warehouses opening later this year.

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A Google search for Amazon jobs in the Tri-Cities returns dozens of results that appear to be job postings to hire Amazon warehouse workers in Pasco.

Some touting sign-on bonuses of thousands of dollars.

If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is.

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A spokesperson for Amazon told the Tri-City Herald that none of the job listings are for the massive distribution warehouses expected to be done in August 2022.

The company said it is still early in the process and it would be “some time before we begin the local hiring process.”

Most of the job listings that claim to be for Amazon warehouse workers ask for personal information and email addresses, then direct you to paid services, such as resume coaching or credit score evaluations.

Fake amazon listings.png
A misleading job listing appears to show Amazon is hiring warehouse workers in Pasco. The company said the listings are not legitimate.

The links that do eventually lead to some online job listings turn out to be for Amazon positions in other cities and states.

One listing for an Amazon warehouse worker in Pasco listed a pay range of $15 to $25 an hour, with a $3,000 sign-on bonus.

BOI_0922amazoninterior
A new Amazon fulfillment center in Nampa, Idaho. Darin Oswald doswald@idahostatesman.com

Clicking through the link leads a job seeker through a series of screens asking seemingly innocuous questions. First, what position you’re interested in, then your zip code — despite the fact you clicked on a listing for Pasco — next comes a screen asking if you need help with your resume, then a screen about the importance of a good credit score.

Once you make it through all of those screens, you’re met with listings for jobs nowhere near Tri-Cities.

Fake listing 2.png
A misleading job listing appears to show Amazon is hiring warehouse workers in Pasco.

Warehouse hiring

Amazon will need about 1,500 workers for the new Pasco warehouses, but those positions aren’t likely to start before late summer.

The training for most positions is expected to take about three days.

Both warehouses are more than 1-million square-feet, with the eastern warehouse having another half a million square feet of usable space in a second story mezzanine area.

All the Amazon jobs in the Tri-Cities will be full time, the company has said, and will start at $18 an hour.

Pasco Economic Development Manager Mike Gonzalez said that wages will go up to $22 or $23 an hour.

Amazon Oyster Exterior Excavator.jpg
This Amazon warehouse, known as Project Oyster in Pasco, will distribute smaller goods such as household items, books, toys and technology. Bob Brawdy bbrawdy@tricityherald.com

Amazon is expected to work with local municipalities and economic development organizations to build a plan for hiring, but no new details about that process have been revealed.

“By July of this year, employee recruitment should be in full swing,” Gonzalez told the Herald last month. “That’s the game plan, and then in September they plan to open.”

When Amazon actually begins hiring, there will likely be a concerted effort because they will have to advertise outside the Tri-Cities in order to find enough workers.

After Amazon announced plans to build a fulfillment center in Airway Heights just east of Spokane, surrounding entities and government agencies pooled their resources and spent $500,000 on a marketing campaign, selling workers on the benefits of living and working in Eastern Washington.

Amazon-Hiring_41496.jpg
FILE – In this Feb. 9, 2018, file photo packages move down a conveyor system were they are directed to the proper shipping area at the new Amazon Fulfillment Center in Sacramento, Calif. Rich Pedroncelli AP

Avoiding Scams

A new report by The Better Business Bureau shows just how common these misleading job listings can be. The BBB recently released its 2021 Scam Track Risk Assessment report, which tracks the most common scam complaints they receive.

Employment scams were high on the list, in fact they have been among the top three most reported complaints since the BBB began publishing the report in 2016..

For people 18 to 24, employment scams were the second highest category that posed the most risk, beating out crytocurrency scams and investment scams.

Online shopping scams were the highest risk for all age groups. The BBB reported that military spouses and veterans also are frequently targeted by employment scams.

Logan Hickle, communications manager for BBB Great West and Pacific, told the Tri-City Herald that Amazon is now the most impersonated company they receive calls about. It even beats out the Social Security Administration.

He said Amazon is working to combat impersonators, but it is a widespread issue.

Some tips for avoiding employment scams include:

  • Double check the listing to ensure it is a legitimate website or that the name of the company isn’t slightly misspelled.
  • Avoid giving your social security or bank information.
  • Look out for procedures that seem abnormal.

Work Source Columbia Basin also recommends:

  • Look out for poor grammar or sentence structure in listings.
  • Watch for vague job descriptions.
  • Verify emails claiming to be from hiring managers come from the company and not personal email addresses.

And most importantly, “If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.”

Two warehouses

The Amazon project in east Pasco involves the construction of two warehouses. The eastern facility, known as Project Oyster, and sits on 162 acres at 1361 S. Road 40 East. It will handle smaller goods such as household items, books, toys and technology.

About 1,000 of the 1,500 employees will work at that facility.

The western warehouse, directly across the street at 1202 S. Road 40 East, is known as Project Pearl. It sits on 104 acres.

It will hold larger items such as furniture, outdoor equipment, as well as large packages of paper goods and pet supplies.

Amazon already has a call center in Kennewick that employs about 500.

This story was originally published March 18, 2022 12:52 PM.

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Cory is an award-winning investigative reporter. He joined the Tri-City Herald in Dec. 2021 as an Editor/Reporter covering housing and development. His past work can be found in the Tyler Morning Telegraph and other Texas newspapers. He was a 2019-20 Education Writers Association Fellow, and has been featured on The Murder Tapes, Grave Mysteries and Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen.





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