In today’s internet-connected world, job websites can really help those that are unemployed. However, these sites can also provide scammers with opportunities to take advantage of people to get their valuable personal information. We discuss online job application scams in this post and what you can do to protect yourself.

Types of Online Job Application Scams

There are potentially severe consequences from being scammed by a fake job application. This can result in lost time and money, and even identity theft and a ruined credit score.

Job application scams are ways for thieves to get information about their victims which they can use to make money. For example, they can obtain a tax refund in a victim’s name or steal the funds from their bank account(s).
And this just the tip of the iceberg!

Overpaid But Easy Jobs

Jobs that are easy to do but are obviously overpaid are likely job application scams. Do not be seduced by high paying jobs that any person can do with little training or education.

They Found Your Resume On A Job Site

Sometimes scammers will send you an email saying they found your resume on a popular job board. They may declare you as an outstanding candidate for the position. Many of these are real offers, but some are just plain scams.

If the company they represent is a well-known one or one you cannot remember seeing before, it could be a scam. Some messages may have fancy logos of companies pasted on them. The email address the message is sent from will reveal where it really came from. Also, even if it seems like a legitimate company, it could still be spoofed by software.

They may say they need a filled out application, a credit check, and other personal information to complete the hiring process.

Information they may ask for includes:

  • Drivers License information
  • Social Security Number
  • Birthdate
  • Bank Account Number
  • Home Address

A Recruiter Uses a Regular Email Address Domain Name

If a recruiter asks for a response, then they should have an email address with a domain name specific to the employer (@apple, @gm, @spacex, etc) and not his or her own email address from Google, Hotmail, or Yahoo.

Fake Recruiters on Social Media

Since social media usage has grown tremendously in recent years, and so has the population of scam artists. Fake job recruiters on social media will promote and share many supposedly great job opportunities for anyone
who wants to apply. They also may even be posted on the seemingly legitimate company Facebook pages.

Fake Recruiters on LinkedIn

Scammers can create fake LinkedIn profiles to lure unsuspecting applicants into a job application scam using LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn will delete these fake profiles when they are eventually spotted, but
nevertheless, they cannot get all of them.

Twitter Job Application Scams

Job scammers have taken note of Twitter’s growing popularity and use links to lure people into job application scams. So, always keep your
guard up when using Twitter.

Make sure to verify any recruiter or employer that you run across on social media. You can do this using google to find the recruiter’s name and company.

Fake Jobs From Real Employers

Some scam artists will use the name of a big company to lure applicants into a job application scam. This is actually a form of corporate brand theft, as the job poster is claiming they are from a legitimate well-known company. Many of these job titles, however, have no relation to what these companies actually do so they are somewhat easy to spot. The point is, the company is real but the job is not, and this puts you at risk of being scammed.

Scams On Legitimate Job Boards

Many well-known job boards can be harbors for job application scammers. These can include very popular websites such as Careerbuilder, Monster, and Indeed.

Legitimate job websites cannot keep all possible scammers from posting on their site, as some sophisticated ones can slip through the site’s vetting process.

Even job boards that require the scammer to pay for a job posting can still have job application scams on the site. The return to the scammer will be greater than the cost to post the fake job.

Government Job Boards Are The Most Safe

The only real jobs site that you can trust is a government site, such as USAJOBS.gov. However, even with this site, you need to check the URL to make sure it is exact.

Registration Fees May Be Charged

Registration may be required to have access to the job posting, but this is a way for the scammer to get personal information out of you.

Fake job postings are trying to get as much personal information from victims as possible. These are often very difficult to spot, which is why they are effective.

Check if the Company is Legitimate First

Do not respond to any online job posting until you have verified that the company they represent is legitimate.

You can do this by the following actions:

  • Call the employer
  • Find their listing or website on Google
  • Make sure the email domain name is the company’s and not a person

If there is no listing of the company on a major search engine, then this is a sign that it is a scam job posting.

Companies exist to sell products and services and having a website is a primary way they can do this. Their website will likely have contact information and details about what they do as a business.

In Short: Verify Before Trusting Job Postings

Do your due diligence and verify the source before trusting a potential employer from a job listing. This is just as important when applying for a job online as making an online purchase. This will save you time, energy, and money at a time when unemployment may also be a problem to deal with.

To Recap…

Being cautious about online job postings and going through a verification process is the key to staying safe from scams. Finding employment does not have to be harder than it already is, so keep an eye out for these dangerous fake job postings and avoid any additional headaches.

For more information, see our post 5 LinkedIn Security Problems.

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