Beware Of Job Scammers: What To Know
Scammers use a variety of ways to trick people into sharing personal information or sending cash. Unfortunately, one of those ways is fake job listings. Many job sites, like Indeed and LinkedIn, have measures in place to verify legitimate employers. But sometimes, scammers manage to get their listings posted. Other fake job postings can also appear on social media profiles created to deceive job seekers.
According to the FTC, these kinds of job scams are often found with jobs such as work-from-home jobs, caregiver jobs, and mystery shopper jobs. The FTC recorded around 105,000 “business and job opportunity” scams in 2023. This cost victims around $450 million. According to the FBI’s internet crime report, they recorded around 15,000 victims of employment scam crimes, who reported losing more than $52 million.
Axios reported that generative AI and the growth of more informal work communication have given scammers new ways to target people. Particularly those who have recently been laid off.
What to look out for?
Some scammers use AI-generated headshots to seem more legitimate. This makes it challenging for job seekers to visually distinguish real from fake-generated faces. When looking at job boards, they often use a basic format making it harder to spot fake email addresses and red flags. Some scammers urge victims to send money through payment apps for equipment or background check fees.
How to avoid these kinds of scams.
There are steps job seekers can take to avoid job scams. The FTC suggests looking up the name of the company or the person who’s hiring you, plus the words “scam,” “review,” or “complaint.” Check and see if others say they’ve been scammed by that company or person. Some complaints can tip you off.
Additionally, never send money to a potential employer. “Honest employers, including the federal government, will never ask you to pay to get a job,” said the FTC. They said anyone who does is a scammer.
Similarly, no honest employer will ever send you a check to deposit and then tell you to send on part of the money or buy gift cards with it. Most likely, the check will bounce, and the bank will want you to repay the amount of the check.
Get more tips on how to avoid scams here.