As we enter the holiday season, retailers are adding hundreds of thousands of temporary jobs. The National Retail Federation estimates 500,000 people will get holiday jobs. Challenger, Gray and Christmas, a well-known outsourcing firm, puts the number at 600,000. Toys R Us has said it might hire 45,000 holiday employees, while some retailers have said they'll hire up to 30 percent more seasonal workers than last year.
There's a double-edged sword, however, to this good news for people desperate to find a job, even a temporary one. First, given high unemployment, the competition for these jobs will be fierce. Second, crooks follow the headlines and have already been perpetrating new and creative scams on the unemployed. They may step up their efforts during the holidays.