The pandemic continues unabated, resulting in millions of lost jobs, many of which may not be coming back. As a result, many people are forced to look for work in very trying circumstances.
Unfortunately, these are very favorable conditions for scam artists, particularly those who are targeting job seekers. Since many are looking for jobs online, in addition to networking, this presents a golden opportunity for scammers. And, the risk of getting scammed has increased, with victims being fleeced out of $3,000 on average.
Scammers use different methods. Some use social media. Others post fake jobs on job boards or attempt to make contact through email. They announce an opening for a terrific job that you are perfectly qualified for. To further entice the victim, the job will typically include a high salary, good benefits, short hours, and working from home.
The scammer will also usually conduct a fake job interview to give an aura of legitimacy to the fraud. Then they make a job offer and may even provide employment documents.
If you bite and take the offer, then the fraud begins. They will tell you they need a credit card number for a credit check, or a bank account number for direct deposit, or even money for supplies and training. They are looking for personal information or money, and after they get them, the victim never hears from them again.
What to Look For
Scammers naturally do everything they can to deceive their marks by appearing to be for real, but there are signs that give them away.
1. The job just sounds too good to be true. If a job appears to be too great to be for real, it probably is.
2. The website may look a little odd. For example, the address is just http instead of https because it is not secure. There may also be misspellings or words misplaced.
3. Research. Do an online search on the company to make sure they are for real. You can also check out the company with the Better Business Bureau.
4. Employers don’t need your personal information before you have been hired. Make sure you have thoroughly investigated the company before providing it or make sure you only give it in person.
5. If any prospective employer asks for money, walk away.