All you need is a job. But all that fake “employer” wants is your personal information or money.
How to Spot Fake Job Listings Posted by Cyber Criminals
Fake job scams have been around for years, but with widespread unemployment and more people looking for remote work due to COVID-19, if you’re not careful, you might apply for or accept a “job” that doesn’t exist for any other reason than to gather your personal information for nefarious purposes.
Cyber criminals can pose as legitimate employers, spoof company websites and post jobs on popular online job boards, according to the FBI. Then they conduct false interviews with unwitting applicants, usually requesting personal information or money.
With sensitive information, identity thieves can take over your bank accounts, open new bank and credit card accounts and obtain fake driver’s licenses or passports. The average loss for fake job listing victims is about $3,000 – in addition to credit score damage – according to the FBI.
Click or swipe for telltale signs of a fake job post to avoid falling for a job listing scam.
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1. Know what cyber criminals are capable of faking
Use of spoofed company websites, along with advertising alongside legitimate employers and job placement companies for credibility is prevalent among job listing fakers, according to the FBI, which recommends conducting a thorough online search using the name of the company posting the ad. If you find multiple sites for the same company, that may indicate a fraudulent job post.
Scammers may impersonate actual company managers, recruiters or people from various departments, including human resources, offering victims jobs, often in a work-from-home capacity. “Cyber criminals executing this scam request the same information as legitimate employers, making it difficult to identify a hiring scam until it is too late,” says the FBI.
You can help protect yourself, however, by knowing the signs of a fake job listing.
2. Non-company email domains
If the job poster says he or she works for the company listing the job but uses a non-company email, beware. A legitimate human resources staffer won’t typically communicate with you using a Gmail or other non-company email account.
3. Questionable video interviews
Video and teleconference interviews aren’t necessarily a sign of a fake employer, especially during coronavirus precautions. However, if the recruiter will only conduct interviews via teleconference applications using email addresses instead of phone numbers and refuses to conduct in-person or secure video call interviews, be careful.
Those out-of-the-ordinary interviews could be a red flag of a fake job listing and someone seeking your personal information for identity theft, according to the FBI.
4. Pre-hiring requests for personal information
Legitimate companies only request personally identifiable information and bank account information for payroll and direct deposit after – not before – hiring an employee, says the FBI.
“Never share your Social Security number or other PII that can be used to access your accounts with someone who does not need to know this information,” the FBI cautions. Never give your credit card information to a potential employer.
5. Sending you a fat check
Also beware the scam where the potential employer sends you a check for start-up funds, has you cash the check and then asks you to return a portion of the money to the person who mailed the check.
When the fake check bounces a week or two later, you’ll be out the money you sent to the scammer and will owe the amount of the check to the bank where you cashed it, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
6. Requiring you to make purchases
When a potential employer asks you to buy start-up equipment from their company or says you must pay the company to be hired, those requests can indicate a job listing scam, according to the FBI.
7. Job posting isn’t on the company website
When you find a job posted on Craigslist or other job boards but the company named in the ad has no listing of the job opening on its business website or careers section, that could be a red flag that the job listing is a scam, says the FBI.
Before applying, call the company directly to verify that the job listing is legitimate.
Published by Debt.com, LLC