Experts warn of new social media scams targetting job seekers on sites like LinkedIn and Indeed. Scammers posing as genuine employers reach out to job-hunters and offer them positions at a new company. In reality, the scammer doesn’t have a job opportunity; instead, they’re trying to steal from an unsuspecting victim.
There are two variations of this insidious scam. Here are the warning signs for which you need to watch out.
Some employment schemes are elaborate phishing scams. These plots involve a scammer contacting a job seeker and offering a career opportunity. The scammer might claim they work for a genuine company, though they could invent a fake name for the confidence game. During this scam, the criminals try to earn the victim’s trust by offering them a job that sounds too good to be true.
These fake job listings are often for work-from-home positions, allowing the scammers to conduct “interviews” online. Once the victim “accepts” the new job, the scammers send over “tax paperwork” for the “new hire” to fill out. If victims fill out these documents, they unwittingly give the criminals access to their bank accounts and personal information.
Scammers waste no time emptying the victim’s bank account and committing identity fraud with the stolen information. Thankfully, it’s easy to avoid this scam. Never send anyone your personal information over the internet. If you are hired for a real job listing, your new company will request your personal information via secure channels.
Another scam involves potential “employers” offering a high-paying position to victims who can pay for their equipment or training. The criminals direct “new hires” to purchase computers, textbooks, or other training materials from their “preferred vendors.” Scammers will tell their victims that the company plans to reimburse the new hires for the cost of the equipment or training.
The scammers might discontinue the scheme once the victim sends the money to the vendor. Some could continue to defraud their mark, requesting more money to pay for further training or equipment. In either case, there is no real job. The criminals pocket the money and then disappear when the victim becomes unwilling to pay.
This scam is easy to identify. No legitimate job will ask you to pay for your training or equipment up-front. You should never send money to anyone over the internet, even if they’re offering a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity. When you send money to someone online, you can’t get it back. So, take time to think before you authorize any digital payments!