Even as the global health crisis is causing massive unemployment all around the globe, fraudsters haven’t stopped trying to dupe people into job scams. In fact, they are using the pandemic as an opportunity to take advantage of more people trying to look for jobs, capitalizing on the financial hardships that the pandemic has caused for people who have been laid off.
If you think you have been a victim of a job scam, seek help from an employment attorney right away. But if you’ve just started to look for jobs recently and haven’t come across anything suspicious, then you’re in luck–here are the common types of job scams to help you avoid falling for any of them altogether.
1. Bogus jobs on social media
Scammers are now using social media to increase their reach, which means that you should be wary about any and all job postings you see on all social media platforms.
There are fake Facebook pages and groups that promote “job opportunities.” These illegitimate posts usually have vague job descriptions, poor formatting, misspellings, and grammar errors–the usual hallmarks of a scam. However, keep in mind that even if a job looks legitimate doesn’t mean that it is; scammers are composing their posts better to lure even wary people in.
Another way you can tell if a job is a scam is by looking at the social media account of the “employer”. Verify if the account is genuine (refer to the number of followers, look for a checkmark if applicable, see if the account has been around for long enough). If the post tells you to follow a link, verify first before you click.
2. E-mailed job offer
You’ve received an email from a supposed employer, recruiter, or job site. They claim that they found your profile or resume on a job site or LinkedIn, and say that you’re just what they’re looking for. To start, you just have to send them your personal information, including copies of your IDs and bank account numbers.
But wait, you don’t remember ever applying for that position or the company name itself. Be wary, there is a good chance that you’re looking right at a scam that is meant to steal your sensitive information and sell it for whatever malevolent purpose. Look at the From: email address. If the “recruiter” asks you to send your information to something like firstname.lastname@example.org instead of a legitimate company email address like email@example.com, it’s best to ignore the email entirely.
3. Direct deposit scams
In this particular scam, the scammer will ask you to send your bank account details because they claim to only send paychecks through direct deposit. If you give them their account numbers, they will take money from your accounts and disappear into thin air just like that.
4. Credit report scams
This scam involves the “employer” asking you for a credit report before they can take you on board. They ask you to use a “free” service which you will end up paying for in the end. Not only will you have to pay for a credit report that you don’t need, but the “employer” will be able to gather your personal information and use it for fraudulent activities.
5. Corporate identity theft
In this type of scam, an “employer” uses the identity of a real company, usually a well-known one that you would readily trust, and post fake job listings pretending to be that company. They ride on that company’s established reputation to easily gain the trust of job applicants and take advantage of them.
To avoid this, verify if the profile that posted the job listing is legitimate. It also helps to check the actual website of the company and see their ‘Careers’ section if they are really hiring for that position. Better yet, email their HR department to verify the legitimacy of the job posting before you apply.
6. Recruiter or consultant scams
A recruiter may approach you and say that they have positions that you may be qualified for but their “clients” don’t have openings yet. Then, they offer you training sessions to improve your qualification–but for a price. This is called a recruiter scam and is basically an attempt to sell you services that don’t guarantee candidacy.
The career consultant scam occurs in the same way: a “career consultant” will approach you and say that they would like to be your representative. Again, this is just an attempt to sell you services.
Job hunting is already a grueling process in and of itself. Don’t make the road to employment even more difficult by falling for these common job scams. Always be wary, and when in doubt, it’s better not to take the risk.