Job hunting is stressful enough as it is and recent tech layoffs have opened up a big avenue for scammers to target vulnerable job seekers. Job scams are fraudulent offers that promise high-paying, remote work opportunities, but might require you to pay upfront fees or provide personal information. These scams can be devastating, leading to financial loss and/or identity theft. In this post, we’ll be going over some tips to help identify these scams and we’ll go over some common ones we’ve seen recently.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Research the Company
Before applying or responding to a recruiter for any job, research the company. Check the company's website for information about their history, mission, and values. See if there are legitimate news articles written about the work they do.
⭐ Tip from our recruiter coaches: Check social media accounts for information about the company's culture and the people who work there. LinkedIn is a great resource for this. We’ve seen companies claim to have thousands of employees but upon research, there’s only a handful of LinkedIn “employees.” Tech recruiters will almost certainly have legitimate LinkedIn profiles representing their company.
Beware of Upfront Fees
Legitimate employers will never ask you to pay upfront fees for a job. Be wary of any company that requires you to pay for background checks, training, or equipment. These types of fees are a sure sign of a scam.
Be Wary of Overpromising Job Listings
Be cautious of job listings that promise high-paying, remote work opportunities with no experience required. These listings may be too good to be true. Legitimate employers will require some level of experience and will have a clear job description and requirements.
Don't Give Out Personal Information
Be careful when giving out personal information, such as your social security number or banking information. Legitimate employers will only ask for this information after you have been hired.
Check the Job Posting Platform
If you find a job posting on a job board, check the platform's policy on job listings. Many job boards have policies that require job listings to be verified before they are posted. Be cautious of job listings that do not have any verification process.
⭐ Tip: Always try to apply directly on the company’s website. Avoid applying directly on LinkedIn, Indeed, or other job board sites. Some scammers will pose as legitimate companies and phish for information provided through applications on job boards. Additionally, many scammers have taken to using third party apps for applications. Be wary of requests to download any apps.
Be Cautious of Unsolicited Messages from Recruiters/HR Reps
As noted above, some scammers will act as if they work for legitimate companies to entice you to apply. Double check any links you’re given to apply, use LinkedIn to research the person who reached out to you and the company they claim to represent.
If something feels off, ask questions. Some scammers can look legitimate, but often will not have all the answers thought out. Ask questions about the team, culture, job responsibilities, reporting structure, etc. (We advise you ask these anyways, but it helps sus out scammers as well).
⭐ Tip: Legitimate recruiters welcome questions about the authenticity of their roles. If a recruiter gets upset at any questions you’re asking for your due diligence, be cautious of them.
The Fake Job Interview
In this scam, scammers pose as employers and schedule job interviews with unsuspecting job seekers. They may even conduct a fake interview to make it seem legitimate. They'll then ask for personal information, such as your Social Security number, to conduct a background check. Once they have your information, they'll disappear, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft.
To avoid this scam, research the company before accepting an interview. Check their website, social media pages, and reviews. If something seems off, trust your gut and decline the interview and avoid providing any personal identifying information.
The Pay-to-Play Scam
In this scam, scammers pose as employers and offer you a job, but you have to pay a fee for training or equipment. They may also ask for your bank account information to deposit your paycheck. Once they have your information, they'll disappear, leaving you out of money and without a job.
To avoid this scam, never pay for a job. Legitimate employers will never ask you to pay for training or equipment. Also, be cautious when giving out your bank account information. Only provide it once you've received a job offer and have verified the employer's legitimacy.
The Phishing Scam
In this scam, scammers pose as employers and send you an email with a link to a job application. The link will take you to a fake website that looks like the employer's website. They'll ask for personal information, such as your Social Security number and bank account information.
To avoid this scam, never click on a link in an email from an unknown sender. Instead, go directly to the employer's website and look for the job opening. Also, be cautious when giving out your personal information. Only provide it once you've verified the employer's legitimacy.
The Impersonation Scam
In this scam, scammers pose as recruiters or hiring managers and contact you through social media or email. They may offer you a job or ask for personal information. Once they have your information, they'll disappear, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft.
To avoid this scam, be cautious when receiving unsolicited messages from recruiters or hiring managers. Research the person and the company they claim to represent. Many actual recruiters have had scammers pose as them to try and look more legitimate.
With tech layoffs and job scams on the rise, falling victim to these scams can have devastating financial and emotional consequences, causing undue stress and frustration. To avoid these situations, it is essential to conduct thorough research on the company and position, scrutinize job postings for any red flags or inconsistencies, and be cautious of unsolicited job offers. We hope this helps as you continue your job seeking journey!
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