Scammers may: Use posted resumes and tweak the contact info: They’ll try to get private information from companies before hire or even get hired-then steal company data, client sheets, bank account information, private documents, money and more. Some do it to get jobs they are unqualified for. If research is done, people find “Bob Thomas” has correct certifications and did work where the resume says. One problem—their name is “Benny Anderson” and they are a felon with some industry knowledge, but no degree. Usually they work for a while and go away.
Set up fake companies and/or use names of legitimate companies: They scam in many ways, usually to get information and then steal identities, but also try to get money up front. This is done pre-hire and “after an applicant lands a job.”
Scammers get new hires’ bank accounts for paycheck direct deposits. Before hire, they’ll need Social Security numbers to run background checks, send job seekers applications that require Driver’s License numbers, and/or copies of picture IDs.
For money: They’ll require applicants pay for background checks, drug tests, start-up kits, training, software program, etc. They’ll promise reimbursement after employment for a set amount of time. They may give fake websites or give the applicant class times at a local school or appointment times at a local clinic for drug tests. Schools and clinics have never heard of the applicant, and items never come. Sometimes the company “pays for things up front” and sends a cashier’s check. The applicant needs deposit it and then buy something online or send a check via Western Union to a “software company, product company, etc.,” that same day (before the fake cashier’s check bounces).
In what I consider wildly detailed scamming situations (writing all would require I turn this from a blog to a chapter book). In general, applicants start a job. After some time, the new hire realizes they have been a pawn in helping carry out some scam or scheme. Often these involve money laundering, identity theft, fake sales, etc.
Be vigilant. Before applying to jobs you find online, ensure it’s both a legitimate company and posting. Apply to jobs via company website when possible. If you don’t see a similar opening, call to ensure they are hiring. If it’s a scam, you’ll alert the company.
Offers that sound too good to be true are usually a warning sign. Don’t give personal information before they even set up an interview and never dish out money.
When possible, ask for in-person interviews. It could look like a real company is calling you when it’s really a scammer. For phone interviews call THEM. Many have gotten calls looking like real people or local companies, yet it’s a scammer from far away.
If you have a suspicion about a posting or company, or find fraud, also contact the BBB, law enforcement, and the job board itself.
Good luck job searching,
Elizabeth Husom, GCDF