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8.10.2022 / Fraud Education

Six Things to Watch for to Avoid Employment Scams

Cybercriminals are using fake jobs to steal identities and money from unsuspecting victims. By promising jobs that don’t exist, scammers gain easy access to money and valuable personal information. Statistics from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) indicate that 16,012 people reported being victims of employment scams in 2020, with losses totaling more than $59 million. With the increasing demand for working remote, it is anticipated that these scams will only increase in frequency.

Scammers post the fake job opportunities on popular job sites that direct applicants to apply on a website that mimics a known company’s website. From these applications, they set up virtual interviews. More elaborate scams utilize multiple fake representatives to impersonate people from different departments.

Here are six red flags that a job opportunity might not be legitimate:

  1. The organization’s representative does not ask to talk to you in person or through a secure video call. Although virtual interviews are now a commonly used tool, an in-person interview is usually part of the hiring process.

  2. The emails you receive from the potential employer come from non-company email domains. Official communications should come from a domain affiliated with the organization, and not from Yahoo or Gmail email addresses.

  3. You are asked to purchase start-up equipment from the company before beginning the job. While there are certain jobs that will require you to have particular tools or equipment, be wary of a hiring manager pressuring you to buy items from the company they are representing or providing them with a credit card to pay for equipment upfront.

  4. The potential employer asks you to pay for your background investigation or drug screening. It is not standard practice for an applicant to pay for drug tests or background checks.

  5. You are asked to supply a credit card number. An employer should definitely not need this type of information from an applicant or employee.

  6. The organization’s website does not have the same job postings that you see on job boards. A little time spent clicking around on the prospective employer’s website could help you identify a job scam.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in both the stress and the potential excitement of searching for a new job. Remember to pay careful attention to what a hiring representative is asking you and how they are asking for that information. Then verify through the company website and Human Resources department that the position is legitimate.

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