As unemployment remains high in the U.S., job seekers may want to leap at any employment opportunities that they hear about. However, it is important to carefully examine any job listing that you receive via phone or email. There are many types of scammers waiting to take advantage of the unemployed. Here are two widespread types of employment fraud that you should know about.
If you are looking for a job and have posted your resume to many job boards, you probably receive several emails every day about job openings. Phishing scams involve emails that seem to be for real positions but are designed to get you to send private information like your social security number, identification, or banking info. The email will usually say that the “employer” saw your resume online and thinks that you a perfect fit for one of their positions. You will be asked to click a link and put personal and/or financial details into a form. If a scammer tries to use your debit or credit card number, a merchant may have CNP fraud protection in place to detect that the charge is not authentic. A chargeback company would protect online retailers from fraudulent charges. You should protect yourself by refusing to give out personal information.
Some scammers also try to get your financial information through bank fraud. They place job listings on employment websites or email them to you directly. You may be dealing with this type of fraud if you see a job posting for a remote job that includes a minuscule amount of work with unusually high pay. Another red flag on these postings is that they often include an interview via text or a messaging app. A reputable company will rarely hire you without speaking to you on the phone, in person or through a video chat program like Skype or Zoom.
If you go through an interview with this type of scammer, they may use a real company’s logo and ask common interview questions. They will then “hire” you almost immediately and indicate that they will only pay you through direct deposit. They will send you a direct deposit form to complete with your banking info. They may send real employee starting paperwork as well, such as an I-9 or a W-4. If you complete these forms, the scammer will have all the information needed to steal all the money in your bank account. Always research a company before interviewing with them. If you are not sure if a posting is genuine, contact the company directly to be sure.